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During your next major event, you want to turn your booth into the ultimate lead generator. With an events lead retrieval platform, you can explore the most seamless ways to capture leads, qualify them, and enrich the data before exporting it to your CRM. Use lead retrieval to turn every event into a massive opportunity to expand your reach and grow your business.

What Is Lead Retrieval?

Lead retrieval is when you capture and qualify new sales leads as an exhibitor at an event. While you can use a sign-up sheet and have people write down their names and contact information on a piece of paper, there are plenty of digital tools that provide you with quicker and more efficient ways to collect new leads.

With a lead retrieval tool, you can even take notes about leads, qualify them, and send the completed information to your sales and marketing teams via your CRM.

How Does Lead Retrieval Work?

Did you know that two-thirds of potential leads from a trade show or event never get a follow-up? Since a lead is anyone that expresses interest in your goods and services, you definitely want to reach out to all those potential customers — especially since only genuinely interested people make the effort to attend trade events.

While sometimes, the fault lies in exhibitors who forget or fail to capture the leads in the first place, other issues include mistakes in spelling or email addresses, outdated lead capture methods, or mismanagement of lead acquisition.

When it comes to best practices for lead retrieval, you want to rely on technology to do all the hard work for you. Utilize NFC-enabled attendee badges (near-field communication), QR codes, business card scannings, or ID numbers to collect information on your phone or handheld scanner. Attendee information will typically include all their registration data, including company name, job title, and contact details.

Another method for lead capture may mean integrating with event registration through the organizers to connect with the management software they use and streamline the data collection process — instantly synchronizing data as new attendees register for the event.

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How To Make The Most Of Lead Retrieval

benefits of lead retrieval attending a trade show
Attending a trade show to get new leads.

So I’ve already covered some lead retrieval techniques, as well as best practices for lead retrieval technology. Take a look at how all these tools can benefit your lead retrieval system and deliver hot leads straight to your sales team.

1. Scanning QR Codes

When you choose to scan QR bar codes, you can do so from your phone or tablet without renting additional hardware. Most lead retrieval apps are iOS and Android compatible, and integrate with your other digital tools, so all attendee data comes through to populate their profile right away.

2. Qualifying Leads

You don’t want your onsite booth team focusing on qualifying leads instead of delivering a quality attendee experience. Forget scribbling down notes while speaking to someone in person, and let the app do all the work. You can revisit each lead later — after your chosen platform has done most of the quality scoring work for you.

If you remember more about the attendee, you can often add in your own notes and score the lead hot, warm, or cold in just a few clicks.

3. Collaborate In-App

As soon as an interaction with an event lead is complete, your booth team can still leave notes for other team members, as I already mentioned. But, anyone with access can view, edit, and add to the notes to prevent disjointed conversations, miscommunications, or not communicating at all. At any point, another team member can pick up where someone else left off to continue nurturing a quality lead.

4. Review Metrics in Real-Time

Whether you’re connected to the event management software, or you have a separate lead retrieval solution, most platforms will have real-time sync and updates to help exhibitors check in on their leads. Review activity on your lead capture app’s management dashboard to see a summary of all key metrics, like total scans or average lead quality.

With more visibility at all times, organizers and exhibitors enjoy enhanced transparency, more freedom for self-management, and the ability to adjust lead capture strategy as needed.

5. Export Data

Your event is complete, and you’re ready to follow up on qualified leads. You don’t have to work in your lead retrieval app! Integration is an essential feature in most platforms, so you can export your lead data to your CRM or download it to a spreadsheet and set up your sales team to start reaching out and building relationships.

Types Of Lead Retrieval

scanning qr codes to get lead information
Scanning QR codes to get lead information from attendees.

I’ve already talked about a few lead retrieval techniques, but I haven’t talked specifically about the types of lead retrieval options at your disposal. There are basically two types of lead retrieval:

  • Software-based retrieval: These are among the most popular options because you don’t need to buy or rent any additional hardware to start collecting new leads. With a software for lead retrieval, you buy a subscription-based service that’s typically smartphone and tablet compatible. Use these devices at your next event to scan QR codes, event IDs, and other barcodes.
  • Hardware-based retrieval: Unlike lead retrieval software, you’ll need a handheld scanner from your provider to collect the lead data. You don’t usually get instant access to the data, as the provider collects the information and sends it to you later. Some scanner technology you can expect to use includes pro-scanners, micro-scanners, and RFID scanners.

There are different pros and cons to each type of lead retrieval, so you’ll have to review tool specifics to find the right fit for your organization.

Key Takeaways

Overall, the right lead retrieval tools and strategy will result in the ability to collect data at scale, encourage team collaboration, and improve the attendee experience. You increase your reach and enhance internal workflows, all with the addition of one simple tool.

If lead retrieval sounds like something you need to develop further as part of your event strategy, The RevOps Team can help. Subscribe to the newsletter to bring expert insights directly to your inbox, explore the blog, and review potential tools that may round out your tech stack. 

By Phil Gray

Philip Gray is the COO of Black and White Zebra and Founding Editor of The RevOps Team. A business renaissance man with his hands in many departmental pies, he is an advocate of centralized data management, holistic planning, and process automation. It's this love for data and all things revenue operations landed him the role as resident big brain for The RevOps Team.

With 10+ years of experience in leadership and operations in industries that include biotechnology, healthcare, logistics, and SaaS, he applies a considerable broad scope of experience in business that lets him see the big picture. An unapologetic buzzword apologist, you can often find him double clicking, drilling down, and unpacking all the things.