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Effective iPad Lead Retrieval Strategies for Trade Shows

Running to get the latest iPad for your trade show booth is a great concept, but make sure you create a plan to go with the device.

It’s so easy to think we can push a button and hear “that was easy!” and really have the problem solved. But like our parents told us, and we tell our kids, “the best things in life take a lot of time and hard work. There are no shortcuts to success.” This is true when using iPads. You’ll need a plan to create effective iPad lead retrieval strategies for trade shows, not only for use and implementation but also by setting some measurable goals and exciting your sales team excited about using iPads in the booth.

Start with an overall idea of what you wish the iPad would do to improve your trade show marketing process. Is better lead collection what you need? (Click here for the free white paper, “What Questions Go On My Lead Form?) Using an iPad for trade show lead capture is a great method, so make sure that it will work at all of your shows, not just a few. If you can’t use it at least at your tier one and tier two shows, then you still have a broken business process.

Beyond lead collection, what are the iPad lead retrieval best practices? With a device still so new, this is being redefined at every show. So, what else would you like the iPad to do? Using the iPad to show collateral is an obvious choice. Make sure you optimize the iPads for your trade shows. Using iPads for e-lit fulfillment will save you a lot of time and money and will be a great, Eco-friendly alternative to printing and hauling collateral to shows. With e-lit, you get a much stronger pass-along rate, so why not put that in your goals?

Next, think about what’s in it for the reps in the booth? If you position this as something you got for them, then your user adoption rate will be much faster. Find a few reps who already have iPads and pick a few test shows where they will be working. Get the iPads in their hands as “beta” users; seek their input and watch how fast they tell everyone in your organization about it. Certainly they will give you some insight into the way they use the iPads in the booth; perhaps they had a hard time finding collateral, maybe the process of correcting badge data was not intuitive. You’ll get great tips on how to tweak the iPads before your official roll-out.

Once in place, get a contest going between your reps. At our last show, Exhibitor 2012 (a trade show for trade show managers), we had a live dashboard with various metrics of booth activity. See the dashboard here. One of the little pie charts showed how many leads each rep had qualified. Just having the pie chart to view was enough to spur great competition among a team of five. By the end of the show, we were almost even in leads per rep.

Finally, you’ve got to align your trade show lead export file with your CRM. (Click here for a free white paper on “Trade Show Lead Alignment With CRM’s”). Collecting lots of sales-ready leads is a great start, but if you don’t have a process to give the leads in a “CRM-ready” file to your CRM team, you could see those leads just wither away.

If you’d like more information about iPad lead retrieval for trade shows and best practices, contact us for a discussion about your needs. Let’s dream together about what it could be and then create a great solution for you and your company!

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