For years, lead retrieval has promised event professionals and their exhibitors more than it’s delivered. But now thanks to mobile technology, organizers have something that can deliver on all that promise: a lead retrieval app.

An app, of course, may seem like a small part of upgrading lead retrieval for today’s events. But it’s also the part that relieves the most friction from how lead retrieval has traditionally been done.

What Is Lead Retrieval?

Lead retrieval is the process of capturing attendee information at conferences, trade shows, and other live events. Sponsors and exhibitors then follow up with attendees as sales leads.

Converting attendees into leads presents an immense opportunity. Consider that:

  • 22% of B2B organizations’ marketing budgets goes toward events. (MarketingCharts)
  • 68% of B2B marketers agree that live events generate the most leads. (MarketingCharts)

Yet according to Salesforce Training, 80% of trade show exhibitors don’t follow up with their event leads. And those that do? It can take them more than 50 days.

That’s because traditional lead retrieval creates more problems than it solves.

The Old Way (Or How Not to Do Lead Retrieval)

In the past, using lead retrieval has been a clunky, time-consuming, and expensive process for many event professionals. It often went like this:

  • Event teams rented a lead retrieval device, such as a trade show badge scanner.
  • Booth staff scanned attendee badges with little to no visibility on who did what.
  • The lead scanner shipped back to the rental provider, who extracted the data.
  • A lead report would become available about 24 hours later.

That’s a lot of friction. But now, there’s a much smoother solution for event organizers to provide their sponsors and exhibitors.

7 Ways a Lead Retrieval App Changes the Game

A mobile lead retrieval system relieves all of the friction created by past solutions. By combining a lead retrieval app with a web-based management platform, event teams can:

  • Scan attendees’ QR codes using a phone or tablet.
  • Easily rate and qualify every lead right in the app.
  • Transparently collaborate to nurture leads right away.
  • See activity in real time on a lead management dashboard.
  • Instantly export leads to their CRMs to show ROI.

As for event planners, they get a new revenue channel with up to 75% profit margins.

“Besides increasing the quality of our conferences, we’ve created an incredible revenue stream that boosts the bottom line with minimal expense.”

Brooke Howard, Director of Marketing @ Data Connectors

Here’s how a lead retrieval app makes this all possible.

1. A Lead Retrieval App = No Equipment to Rent

Using an Android or iOS app, any member of a sponsor’s or exhibitor’s booth staff can turn their mobile device into a lead retrieval scanner. A powerful one, too, capable of scanning the QR code on an attendee’s printed or digital badge.

Lead retrieval app by Socio

It gets better from there. The lead retrieval app also captures attendees’ enriched data. Details such as title and company, social media handles, and more instantly populate on the lead’s profile.

And if attendees don’t have a badge, the app can snap a picture of their business card.

2. Lead Qualifying and Rating Happens in the App

Driving attendees to exhibitor booths is critical, but so is delivering quality interaction when they get there. Booth teams can’t do that if they’re more focused on scribbling down attendees’ information than authentically engaging with them.

That’s why after scanning a badge, the lead retrieval app flows right into quality scoring.

Lead retrieval app qualification ratings

Here, scanners qualify leads by rating them up to five stars, and then picking a status: hot, warm, or cold. Two taps and done.

Doing this up front gives clarity to the rest of the team during and after the event. Sales teams, for example, can drop the leads into automated email sequences for post-event follow-up.

3. Event Teams Collaborate to Nurture Leads

What if booth teams could create a personalized experience for every attendee they meet? A lead retrieval app makes that possible. After each interaction, scanners leave notes on the attendee’s lead profile for other team members to see.

Lead retrieval team notes

Duplicate scans now become added opportunities. Instead of having disjointed conversations (or not communicating at all), staff pick up where their teammates left off.

That personalized attention not only nurtures leads into prospects, but it also helps increase attendee engagement.

4. ROI Visualizes in Real Time

Few things attract more event sponsors than consistently proving return on investment (ROI). Mobile lead retrieval far outshines the wait-and-see systems of yesterday. Now all activity loads and displays on a management dashboard in real time.

Lead retrieval dashboard

A dashboard summarizes key metrics, such as total scans and average lead quality, for fast decision-making. This also creates transparency. Event organizers see the same data as their sponsors and exhibitors.

Moreover, the dashboard empowers booth staff to self-manage. A team lead can check each scanner’s performance and make adjustments as needed.

5. CRM Exporting Happens Instantly

For lead retrieval to maximize its value for today’s events, it must empower sponsors and exhibitors to follow up with attendees as quickly as possible. Instant CRM exporting does that.

Lead retrieval app CRM reporting

Event teams can push leads into their sales pipelines at any moment, all wirelessly through the cloud. That sets up sales and marketing teams to follow up with leads when they’re warmest.

Likewise, say an executive not in attendance wants to see how things are going. Event teams can quickly provide that visibility, either through exporting their leads or sharing the dashboard.

6. Deployment Is Fast and Lightweight

Making lead retrieval more powerful means nothing if it’s not also made easier to use. A lead retrieval app simplifies things by automating the time-consuming steps that come with hardware-based systems. All organizers have to do is activate lead retrieval for their event, then send invites to sponsors and exhibitors.

Booth teams set themselves up from there. In-app resources guide them through the process. If they ever need live help, sponsors and exhibitors can contact Socio’s award-winning customer success team through the app. That way, event organizers stay focused on the bigger picture.

That all breaks down to a three-step deployment process:

  1. Organizers activate lead retrieval for their event. That launches lead retrieval. From there, all they have to do is send invites to their sponsors and exhibitors.
  2. Sponsors and exhibitors accept their invites. They download the lead retrieval app, add team members, and go through self-guided setup.
  3. Teams monitor activity. Visibility into how individual booth teams are doing, plus the whole event overall, empower real-time decision-making.

7. More Revenue Share Opportunities for Event Organizers

Monetizing lead retrieval should be as easy as deploying it. Moreover, event organizers should have control over how they monetize it. A mobile lead retrieval system helps simplify that, too.

After purchasing event licenses for a flat fee, organizers can earn additional revenue when redistributing those licenses to sponsors and exhibitors.

Lead retrieval revenue share

For organizations such as Data Connectors, who plan nearly 50 cyber security conferences each year, this presents an immense opportunity to generate new profit.

“Besides increasing the quality of our conferences, we’ve created an incredible revenue stream that boosts the bottom line with minimal expense,” said Brooke Howard, Director of Marketing at Data Connectors.

That presents a great deal of flexibility not just for generating revenue, but also for keeping event clients happy. For instance, it might make sense to resell most event licenses at a profit. As for remaining licenses, event planners can use those tactically (e.g., include them as value-adds in a sponsorship package).

Learn more about Lead Retrieval