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Like the old Hair Club for Men commercial (“Remember, I’m not only the Hair Club President, I’m also a client”), I’m not just the senior vice president of a lead retrieval supplier, I’m an exhibitor as well. And as a veteran exhibitor, I have always been a big fan of digital lead retrieval. If the name of the game is ROI, then the effective collection and qualification of leads is often the difference between a good trade show and a bad one.

Some show organizers claim that lead retrieval is unnecessary because they supply the attendee list to the exhibitors. Even the smallest show has several hundred attendees. And I’d like to ask those show organizers if they have ever made cold calls to 500 people, 450 of whom are not interested in their product.

Other show organizers will tell an exhibitor that they can simply get a business card from the attendee. Here’s what I have to say to that: An attendee at a trade show is a very busy person. They have the keynote address, sessions, networking and, of course, meals. Not to mention hundreds of other exhibitors. So when an attendee enters my booth, I’ve got about 60 to 90 seconds, if that, to pitch my products to them. The last thing I want is for this attendee to spend half of that time fumbling for a business card, that is if they have a business card (It’s become more and more common for people not to carry business cards). Otherwise, I have to write down their name and number on a piece of paper. And if you have to write down the e-mail as well? That could be your ninety seconds right there.

It’s so much easier and efficient to simply scan their badge if they are interested in my product. And with custom qualifiers and other accessories available with lead management apps, the lead can be qualified as well. By qualifying a lead, not only do I have the contact info for the person who stopped by my booth, but I can also pick up the conversation right where it left off. This doesn’t mean I will make a sale every time, but it does get me a lot closer. And it’s so much easier than making a cold call.

By the way, the fact that the attendee only spends 60 to 90 seconds in your booth? That’s a good thing for you, the exhibitor, as well. There are a lot of attendees at the show and you want to see as many as possible. If you waste five minutes writing down all of an attendee’s contact info? That’s three more attendees you could have met with during that time.

Some lead retrieval companies also offer on-line portals where an exhibitors can review their data on-line with a unique user name and password. This allows you to filter and sort your leads by their demographic data or other important criteria.

Using www.LeadsLightning.com, Bartizan’s online dashboard,  an exhibitor can identify their best leads in minutes. So, if given a choice as an exhibitor, I always choose to use lead retrieval. It’s a sound investment for a trade show exhibitor.


Chris EisenbergChris Eisenberg is the Senior Vice President at Bartizan Connects. For anyone interested in watching the old Hair Club for Men commercial, here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuRLGdGnqSU

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