Event Management

Lead Retrieval Just Got Better: 5 Trends to Watch in 2020

Skift Take

Lead retrieval is a major focus of exhibitors and marketers when attending trade shows and conventions. In fact, 68% of B2B marketers find that events are the most valuable source of top-of-the-funnel leads. However, you may be surprised to learn that only about 20% of trade show exhibitors follow up with their sales leads. 

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This clearly represents a major problem in the industry. Failing to follow up with leads quickly and effectively – or at all – defeats the entire purpose of investing time and resources into exhibiting at trade shows in the first place.

So as a trade show planner, how can you offer increased ROI to your sponsors and exhibitors?

Traditional lead retrieval technology has long been the only option for onsite event lead capture. While it has provided event professionals and exhibitors with a vital service, traditional lead retrieval hardware can be comparatively inefficient and lacking when it comes to transitioning leads to post-event follow-up.

In many cases, mobile lead retrieval can offer a much smoother way to record and share attendees’ information and use it to convert them into potential sales. This means more efficiency on the floor, more (and better) connections, and faster post-show follow-ups – all of which are helping planners and exhibitors improve their trade show strategy and increase their ROI.

In this post, we’ll discuss how modern mobile lead retrieval technology improves on traditional methods, focusing on its benefits for event planners and exhibitors.


Benefits of Switching to Mobile Lead Retrieval

While lead retrieval solutions have been around for years, they are not without drawbacks.

With almost half of all brands realizing a 300%-500% ROI from events and experiences, trade show planners and exhibitors are increasingly starting to capitalize on new technology to facilitate their lead retrieval and maximize their ROI. Event technology, and mobile tech in particular, are continuing to grow in popularity as event professionals realize their value and demand – 40% of event app developers boast an average adoption rate of over 80%, with another 35% claiming a rate of 60-80%.

With lead retrieval now being facilitated by mobile tech, there are many undeniable benefits for trade show planners and exhibitors. These include:

  • Speed

    Mobile tech provides access to real-time data, lead rating functionality, and instant exporting

  • Convenience

    The only hardware needed is a mobile device exhibitors likely already own, and organizers no longer have to coordinate hardware devices for each exhibitor staff member

  • Connectivity

    Lead retrieval apps sync new lead data to all connected devices in use at the event as well as integrate to your event software and CRM solutions


5 Lead Retrieval Trends to Watch in 2020

Real-time Lead Data Leads to Adaptable Onsite Strategies

One of the major benefits of a modern lead retrieval solution is the ability to directly access and view your collected data in real-time, which allows you to respond accordingly – no more waiting until it’s too late at the post-show debrief.

Lead retrieval data shows up right on the in-app dashboard during the event, so exhibitors can continuously evaluate lead retrieval performance onsite. If something isn’t working or needs adjusted, this data can flag that there is an issue and you can investigate it right then and there.

This ability to make informed decisions on the spot allows you to make the most of the event, instead of finding out later that your strategy wasn’t as effective as it could have been (and having to wait until the next show to test out a new one).

Real-time data also comes in handy for trade show planners, who can monitor exhibitors’ and sponsors’ ROI to potentially help them make improvements when necessary. The ability to pivot means more adaptable, effective strategies on the show floor and in turn, a better ROI.

Team Collaboration is Streamlining Booth Staff Workflows

Coordination among team members, avoiding duplicate scans, and being able to efficiently sort through leads post-event are all important factors to take into account when considering lead retrieval solutions.

Mobile lead retrieval apps address all of the above through syncing data in different forms. By allowing booth staff to easily monitor what other team members have scanned, these mobile tools ensure that staff won’t record the same lead twice while simultaneously increasing the consistency and integrity of the captured data by allowing anyone to update the same record.

This means that if two exhibiting reps speak with the same buyer, they can add to the existing record rather than potentially creating two separate records and having to reconcile the records later (or worse, mistakenly contact the lead twice in the post-event follow-up).

Benefits of onsite collaboration features include the following:

  • Team members can communicate with each other directly on the app about potential leads so that information and exchanges stay organized and actionable.
  • Information can be easily shared with remote teams, who can then also contribute thoughts and ideas even if they are not able to be onsite. 
  • If the app is socially enabled, exhibitors’ teams have the ability to track how attendees/leads are interacting with posts in the event app and/or leverage social media.
  • Mobile apps can be linked to external platforms such as event management software or even the organization’s CRM to save event teams and sales reps even more time and effort by eliminating post-event manual processing

Multiples of Tools and Providers Are Giving Way to Consistency in Lead Retrieval Solutions

    A common challenge when it comes to onsite lead retrieval is the forced use of different methods and technology depending on the event. Event teams are not able to choose their solution and therefore are not always in a position to get used to a single tool for their team.

    As an exhibitor using a lead retrieval app instead, you may have the ability to opt-out of the potentially outdated tool provided by the trade show. This could also potentially save on costs by using your own smartphone, as trade shows often mark up the price of the devices they rent out.

    Using the same app or service across all your events also alleviates the burden of learning and using  new technology each time, which can make your process more streamlined and consistent. Sales staff may also appreciate being able to use a tool they know and are comfortable with as they converse with potential leads.

    On the flip side, trade show organizers can increase their service consistency and save on costs as well, as there’s no need to worry about providing hardware and exhibitor onboarding is simplified. Instead, you can simply sell a lead retrieval option with supported event apps for participating exhibitors to purchase and download onto their phones.

    Improving Follow-Up Times with Integration Capabilities

    Following up with leads after the event is crucial, and the window of time during which the follow-up takes place is equally important. You want to be sure to reach out to hot leads while you are still fresh in their minds and they’re more likely to convert.

    Mobile lead retrieval apps enable faster follow-ups than traditional scanners. Some apps like Socio Lead Retrieval allow you to scan, qualify, and rate leads in one place, which makes it easier to collect complete lead information.

    Data from your lead retrieval app can also be exported from the app and sent to offsite teams or input directly into your CRM software, ensuring clear post-event data without having to sort through and remember particulars for given leads. Being able to quickly identify leads as well as their rating (hot, warm, etc.) following the event is invaluable, saving you precious time that is better spent actually following up with your leads.

    Monetization Adds a New Revenue Stream

    Over 8 events using Socio Lead Retrieval, Data Connectors generated more than $29K in profit. That represents a revenue stream with 75% margins from a previously untapped business opportunity.

    By removing the need for third-party providers, mobile lead retrieval puts distribution into the hands of the planner. For organizations such as Data Connectors, that means a new revenue stream. Planners can buy lead retrieval licenses for their event, and then resell them to their exhibitors at a profit.

    Let’s say you as the planner buy 20 licenses for $100 each. You then sell them to your exhibitors for $200 each. That’s $2,000 back into your event budget.

    This works out in the exhibitors’ favor as well. They get a better lead retrieval option for less than what they’d pay a third-party rental provider.

    That adds up to huge revenue potential. Data Connectors throws 48 cybersecurity conferences annually throughout the U.S. and Canada. Each one welcomes anywhere from 25 to 50 exhibitors.

    Furthermore, Data Connectors’ new profitable revenue stream is likely to get more profitable. The more metrics Data Connectors collects on its exhibitors, the better it will get at qualifying and attracting the right exhibitors. Better exhibitors and better attendee experiences mean more opportunities to capture leads.


    Lead retrieval is essential to any trade show/conference presence, but it can be inefficient and costly when it comes time to follow up after the event. Newer mobile apps offer improved speed, convenience, and connectivity, and are motivating a shift towards increased efficiency and, most importantly, ROI.

    Mobile technology has changed the event landscape and made it easier than ever to stay organized, connect with attendees, and generate leads. Are you an event organizer looking for a streamlined solution for your exhibitors? Socio can help you realize the benefits of going mobile with your lead retrieval solution. Contact Socio to schedule a personalized demo and to learn more about how a lead retrieval app can improve your events.