How to capture leads at a trade show/conference?

11 replies
Hey guys,

I'm going to be attending a huge toy fair in NYC in February. There will be hundreds of companies displaying their toys/products. These companies would be ideal leads for the service my business offers (promotion online).

I'm wondering, what are some effective ways to capture these companies as "leads" for me to make sales with? I want to make the best of this event. Any advice on capturing these leads or selling to them effectively after the fact would be appreciated.

Thanks!
#capture #leads #show or conference #trade
  • Profile picture of the author FredJones
    What kind of leads do you want to capture? You do have a services business is fine but what kind of services do you offer? When you say promotion online, do you mean you create websites? Do you mean you do SEO/SEM?

    How about distributing flyers for a free website evaluation? How about creating a lucky draw form? I can think of many more, but these would get you started.
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  • Profile picture of the author nichecloner
    Ive done many tradeshows.. You can have a raffle and give away something. I once had a High Performance Race Car theme and gave away 4 Remote Control Formula One race cars.

    All they had to do was drop their business card or fill out my card and drop it in the bowl.

    I collected about 600 leads that way. Now their not all targeted leads, but you now have their contact info.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tiger_Claw
      I've been hitting the trade show circuit for about two years now. I've done and seen quite a few different things since starting. A cool and effective way to capture leads? Setup a 'Google Form' and have them fill out the form on an iPad when they visit your booth. After registering, they will be eligible to win some sort of door prize.

      Doing this will allow you to capture all of the information in a digital format and also make your life easier in regards to uploading it. The business cards in a fish bowl does work well, but you will spend hours entering all of that information into a database.

      It all depends on what you're wanting to showcase. What are you selling to these people? Website design? SEO? Online marketing? Give me a little more information and I'll throw some ideas your way.

      - TC
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Gather business cards. Don't try to sell anything now.

    Call them back a week after the show. Remind them you met there. Talk to them about their business. Find out if they have any problems that you can help solve.

    Keep it simple.
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Lots of good ideas about generating leads while EXHIBITING at trade shows...

    But OP is asking about gathering leads while ATTENDING.

    Here's what I suggest:

    Have your elevator pitch down cold.

    "Who are you? What do you do? Why should I care (what can you do for me?)"

    1) Collect business cards & sales collateral (that's pretty obvious)

    2) Take a digital photo with each of the reps you meet at their booth.

    3) Follow up with an email including the photo of the two of you together

    Good luck,

    Brian
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      See if it's possible to speak at the event. Everyone that attends is a solid lead.

      When I work events, I have someone introduce me to people I think are a good fit. You only need to know one person there to get the ball rolling.

      If you don't know anyone, ask one of the people putting on the event, or anyone you are just talking to.

      I have had complete strangers introduce me to someone I wanted to talk to.
      I always stood off to the side, looking in a different direction, as if I was being disturbed. (or talking to a small group).

      They would just walk up to my target and say something like "Are you....? You need to talk to this guy". And they would drag me to talk to my prospect.

      I would ask him questions, as if he were the one asking to talk to me.

      It's a little bold.

      I was called on it once. The guy said "Are you the one that told her to talk to me, and introduce us?" I said "Yup. And after we're done here, I'll teach you how to do it. Fair enough?" We both had a laugh, and I got to speak for his organization.

      This approach puts you in the position of being the one sought out.

      It works much better if;
      The person introducing you has some authority.
      The person introducing you is known to the prospect.

      But I've had it work if we were all complete strangers.

      Good luck.
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      • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        See if it's possible to speak at the event. Everyone that attends is a solid lead.
        I'm pretty sure the OP is talking about the International Toy Fair at the Javits Center in NYC... a massive, massive annual TRADE SHOW.

        That's not a seminar where one can speak - it's 300,000+ square feet of trade show floor with likely more than 1,000 exhibiting companies and thousands upon thousands of attendees.

        So, the gig becomes "walking the floor" and working the exhibits - which can be tons of fun but pretty exhausting. Wear comfortable shoes!

        Essentially, you're going booth to booth, meeting the reps manning the exhibit for the company.

        Here's the good news - you can make contacts at some exhibits you'd NEVER likely reach through traditional outbound marketing efforts... CMO's, Directors of Product Development, all kinds of executive level decision makers.

        Here's the bad news - you'll also meet lots of low/mid-level flunkies that can waste a lot of your time and efforts if you're not discerning in who you choose to talk to.

        Best,

        Brian
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by BrianMcLeod View Post

          I'm pretty sure the OP is talking about the International Toy Fair at the Javits Center in NYC... a massive, massive annual TRADE SHOW.

          That's not a seminar where one can speak - it's 300,000+ square feet of trade show floor with likely more than 1,000 exhibiting companies and thousands upon thousands of attendees.

          So, the gig becomes "walking the floor" and working the exhibits - which can be tons of fun but pretty exhausting. Wear comfortable shoes!

          Best,

          Brian
          Brian; There are usually breakout sessions going on all day. Sometimes a dozen seminars going on at one time. The trade shows usually have trouble getting speakers for these much smaller venues. And they pay nothing, except fee attendance. But I've never been to a Toy Fair, so maybe it's different.
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          One Call Closing book https://www.amazon.com/One-Call-Clos...=1527788418&sr

          "Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity" Friedrich Nietzsche
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        • Profile picture of the author izzyfoshizzy
          Originally Posted by BrianMcLeod View Post

          I'm pretty sure the OP is talking about the International Toy Fair at the Javits Center in NYC... a massive, massive annual TRADE SHOW.

          That's not a seminar where one can speak - it's 300,000+ square feet of trade show floor with likely more than 1,000 exhibiting companies and thousands upon thousands of attendees.

          So, the gig becomes "walking the floor" and working the exhibits - which can be tons of fun but pretty exhausting. Wear comfortable shoes!

          Essentially, you're going booth to booth, meeting the reps manning the exhibit for the company.

          Here's the good news - you can make contacts at some exhibits you'd NEVER likely reach through traditional outbound marketing efforts... CMO's, Directors of Product Development, all kinds of executive level decision makers.

          Here's the bad news - you'll also meet lots of low/mid-level flunkies that can waste a lot of your time and efforts if you're not discerning in who you choose to talk to.

          Best,

          Brian
          Brian is correct, that is the trade show I am referring to. Our company promotes products online via giveaways/sweepstakes/contests so each of these toy companies is an ideal lead (after all, they're there to promote their products). Brian is also correct in stating that I will be attending and not exhibiting. I've been to a trade show before and have done the walk from booth to booth speaking to everyone. However, this is a HUGE show and going booth to booth would be incredibly time consuming. I was hoping there were creative alternate ways of capturing all these leads that would be more effective.

          Also, this is supposed to only be open to people in the toy industry, I'm attending as a guest of a toy store owner. So I guess I'm technically not supposed to be there. And it probably is frowned upon going around selling services or blatantly capturing leads as an attendee. I'm just hoping to make the best of this event. appreciate all the input from everyone!
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    Target the most influential people. Throw a party and invite them to it. When you do that, make sure you're accompanied by a small entourage of gorgeous women and guys. Have pretty people at the party. Serve drinks. And make sure you circulate.
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  • Profile picture of the author ambrking
    Agree with Jason. Do not try to sell on the first day. Give it a couple of days or a week before giving them a call or emailing.
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