How to: Get MORE email addresses at trade shows

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Collecting email addresses and other contact information at trade shows and events used to be relatively easy:

  • Simply put out a notebook for visitors to write down their information 
  • Add a fishbowl to collect business cards
  • Hope for the best.

These old-school, low-tech methods came with their own challenges: 

  • It was often impossible to read people’s handwriting
  • Keying data into spreadsheets was tedious and time-consuming
  • It took a long time to get the contact information to sales reps, which slowed the process of following up on leads.

These issues made conference marketing programs less effective than they could be.

With all the technology available today, it’s become much easier for sales reps to collect leads at trade shows and other events and save contact information so instant post-event follow up is possible.

Here are seven of the best ways to collect and capture email addresses at trade shows.

1. Leverage tablet devices

Most exhibitors use tablets in their trade show booths. 

If you’re not, why not? 

Tablets make it easy to gather emails and other customer information. Use them to deliver surveys, quizzes and other experiences that collect insights about attendees, along with email addresses and other contact data. What could be simpler? 

If the experiences are well-designed, visitors to your booth will do all the input work, enjoy doing it and gain a positive impression of your brand. You might even learn something about them. Plus, your reps will have ready access to attendee emails and phone numbers so they can immediately follow-up after events.

Not sure how to design and develop tablet-based lead generation experiences? Mobile Locker can help!

Tip: Make sure you use software and applications on your tablets that will work whether you have a WiFi connection or not. You don’t want to be left vulnerable if you lose connectivity.

2. Scan badges and business cards

Most trade shows provide ID badges that can be scanned to capture lead data. Make sure you use a system and software that makes it fast and easy to do it. Develop a plan on how reps manning your booth should handle this so you don’t miss out on any opportunities.

If you collect business cards, leverage a business card scanning app like the one offered by Mobile Locker. Simply take a picture of each card. Mobile Locker’s cutting-edge software instantly converts the photos into lead data. It combs the internet to find information about prospects, making it readily available to reps to guide their conversations.

Imagine, knowing everything about a booth visitor within seconds of getting their business card, including:

  • Name
  • Company
  • Title
  • Education
  • Work responsibilities
  • Affiliations
  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • And more.

Think about it: The information gained from scanning business cards using Mobile Locker’s app can be your secret weapon. It will give your sales reps the power to beat the competition.

3. Play games

Everyone loves playing games. They let people loosen up and have fun during trade shows. If you design your games correctly, they’ll not only be enjoyable and deliver a memorable brand experience, they will also help gather intel about the people who visit your booth. Simply make it a requirement to input names and email addresses to play or earn prizes.

4. Take pictures

People enjoy photo booths. They’re a great way to capture the fun of attending trade shows and other events. Provide a themed back-drop and interesting props and there’s a chance your brand will go viral when people share pictures with friends and co-workers. Simply ask for a contact name and phone number or email address to transmit the images via text message or email. Then use the information to contact people after events are over.

5. Make them want more

Use tablets to share videos and other interactive experiences at your trade show booth. End them in ways that leave attendees wanting to see, learn or experience MORE. Make it a requirement to provide a name and email address to access the next chapter. Send it to them after the show and use the email to begin an ongoing dialogue.

6. Offer giveaways

Everybody loves free stuff. That’s why giveaways are ubiquitous at trade shows. The mistake many businesses make is to not expect anything in return for passing out free things. It’s okay if you’re giving out trash and trinkets. However, if you’re offering items of worth, require that people give you their contact information before handing them over.

7. Have a contest

Many businesses offer prizes at trade shows. It’s a proven way to get attention and attract visitors to booths. Reward prizes after the event is over, so that contact information is needed to receive them.

Bonus: Follow up FAST

Once you get back to the office after trade shows, follow up with prospects as soon as possible. If you don’t, it’s likely your competitors will beat you to the punch!

Download our free 8 step guide on how to instantly increase the ROI of your next trade show

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