Collecting lead data at trade shows used to mean either having customers write their contact information down in a spiral notebook or collecting business cards in a fishbowl. The notebook method meant a lot of struggle to decipher each client’s handwriting after the show, and both the notebook and fishbowl meant filling out lead cards, or spending hours entering contact information into a spreadsheet. Following up on leads took quite a while, and often notebooks and business cards sat around the office for weeks or months after a trade show until they became outdated.

With today’s technology, trade show lead collection is much simpler and more efficient. Not only that, but technology can be a great way to break the ice and grab a customer’s attention at your booth. Once you can attract their attention, you can use technology to create a memorable experience for the client who will stay with them long after the event is over. Here are some of the best ways to collect email addresses at trade shows – and much more – using tablets and other technology.

A tablet is an effective way to generate leads at a trade show by collecting customer information. A tablet app makes it easy for customers to answer survey questions and provide their names and email addresses, along with other information to help qualify leads. With a tablet, you no longer have to decipher a customer’s handwriting or spend time typing all of their information into a spreadsheet or CRM software. Tablet apps capture data quickly and allow you to download reports or export the data to a computer program for easy follow-up.

Most trade shows these days provide ID badges to each attendee with bar codes or QR codes, which can be scanned to capture lead data quickly. Some tablet apps allow you to scan badges and save this data using a tablet or smartphone.

To adopt a more traditional way, you can replace the classic fishbowl of business cards with a business card scanning app for your tablet. These apps allow you to take photos of business cards and quickly convert them to lead data.

In addition to collecting leads, tablet apps can be used to get attention at your trade show booth. Tablet games can be great icebreakers, and they can get trade show attendees talking about your booth long after the event is over. Visitors to your booth can use a tablet app to answer quiz questions, snap a selfie or create a work of art. Meanwhile, salespeople can be on hand to answer any questions they may have.


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