Event Lead Retrieval: How to Transform Your Exhibitor Experience

Event lead retrieval has evolved from sharing business cards to scanning QR codes. It’s faster,  easier, and can be done on the fly—but how do you optimize the process?

Microscanners might seem like a simple answer, but what if you want to include additional information or your exhibitors want to access their leads in real time?

A comprehensive event tech solution supports your event’s needs in one place and makes lead retrieval a natural part of the event experience. 

Read on and we’ll help you use lead retrieval to transform the exhibitor and sponsor experience at your next event.

What is Lead Retrieval?

Lead retrieval is the process of capturing leads at an event, usually by scanning an attendee’s QR code on their conference badge. The QR code contains data about the attendee, like their name, contact information, and title.

If you want to change it up, you could give attendees another type of smart wearable, like wristbands.

Either way, when you scan an attendee’s smart badge, the device will pull their registration information from the database. It will then relay this information to your leads database, ready for use by you or your exhibitors and sponsors.

Lead Retrieval vs. Lead Capture: What’s the Difference?

With lead capture, the event organizer may or may not be involved in the lead collection process.

Leads are captured using paper forms, business cards, or event apps on the event floor. The exhibitor or sponsor owns that information, rather than having it pulled from the organizer’s database.

What about lead retrieval? On the surface, there seems to be very little difference. But if you dig deeper, you’ll notice two key differences:

  • Event organizers control lead retrieval data. You control which attendees become a lead. But unlike with lead capture, you can’t control what information you get for each lead. This problem is easily solved with a lead retrieval solution EventMobi that lets you add more details on the spot.
  • Lead retrieval is faster. Lead capture involves manually filling forms or extracting lead data from business cards. Lead retrieval software is faster, and minimizes the administrative load!

What is a Lead Retrieval Device?

A lead retrieval device is used to capture attendee info by scanning codes on an attendee’s badge, such as a microscanner or mobile phone app.

Microscanners are small devices that facilitate lead retrieval. But unlike a mobile app, you can’t add notes and images, view or edit lead data, or access leads in real time.

A mobile app using QR code lead retrieval lets you do all that and more.

For example, EventMobi lets exhibitors and sponsors:

  • Snag lead data right on the event floor, qualifying conversations live
  • Use the Exhibitor Dashboard to view detailed analytics 
  • Export lead data to add to their CRM
  • Enter leads manually if a lead doesn’t have a badge
  • Secure all data with cloud connectivity – no data loss here!

All that with no need for separate devices. You can do a lot with just a few taps on your phone!

Recommended Resource: Ready to help exhibitors score, capture, and follow up with leads? 📈 Explore EventMobi’s lead capture app.

How Does Lead Retrieval Work?

Lead retrieval is as simple as scanning a QR code! 

In your app, you always have the option of editing or adding lead details.

Of course, if you’re using hardware instead of an app, the process will go a tad slower.

You can offer exhibitors either type of retrieval system:

  • Hardware-based: After renting a lead retrieval system from a provider that uses handheld scanners like microscanners, proscanners, and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), the provider collects lead data and sends it to you later.
  • Software-based: Using lead retrieval software like EventMobi, sponsors and exhibitors download the app to scan attendee badges. They can access lead data during or after the event and even export data to a CRM during the event to start following up.

If you ask us, a software solution is the way to go. Software-based lead retrieval allows exhibitors access to data in real time. That means no clunky devices to handle and no wait time for lead retrieval.

Here’s the entire process—from downloading the lead capture app to qualifying the lead:

  1. Download the lead capture app. Show your exhibitors how to download and use their lead capture app so they can capture and qualify leads. With a lead capture app like EventMobi, they can even add reps to their company profile!
  2. Set up exhibitor/sponsor booths. It’s event day! Make sure your exhibitors find their booths, have everything they need to set up, and give them some tips for making the most of traffic you’ll drive their way.
  3. Use gamification to drive traffic. Create a gamified scavenger hunt that drives your attendees to every booth—upping their placement on the event leaderboard, and maybe even winning them a prize. 
  4. Speak with attendees. This is the chance for your exhibitor to make a connection! They’ll offer any free swag, show relevant demos, and hopefully capture that nice lead data.
  5. Scan the badge. Here’s the moment your exhibitor captures their lead. With a quick on-the-spot scan, the app records attendee data in the lead database for easy access during and after your event. 
  6. Qualify the lead. The exhibitor’s sales team qualifies the leads based on parameters like job title and industry. Exhibitors can even create a custom qualifier questionnaire tailored to their needs with software like EventMobi.
  7. Get information from the event tech. In real time, exhibitors or sponsors can export information about qualified leads from the app. The lead data can be imported directly into the exhibitor’s CRM, so no information is lost.
  8. Follow up with the lead. You’ve given your exhibitors and sponsors everything they need to follow up with qualified leads after the event. They’ll contact their leads to provide more information and, hopefully, form lasting relationships. 
  9. Make the sale. This part’s simple! If everything goes well, the exhibitor will make a sale.
  10. Return for the next event. If the exhibitor or sponsor feels they gained a positive return on investment, they’ll want to be a part of your next event! In addition to sales, exhibitors also consider the number of attendees and the overall event experience to decide if they’ll return for the next event, so make sure to look beyond sales numbers

And that’s it! You can see how an event tech solution simplifies  multiple steps in the lead retrieval process. 

In fact, when all your event support is in one place, you can streamline lead conversations and improve relationship-building by enabling attendees to book appointments with exhibitors or other attendees from within the EventMobi app.

How to Find the Right Lead Retrieval Tool

So you know your exhibitors and sponsors want to capture leads, and for that, you need a lead retrieval tool. But how do you find the right one? 

Remember, you want your exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees to return to your events. For that, you need to provide frictionless experiences consistently.

Here’s what you should look for in an exhibitor lead retrieval software solution:

1. Easy to use

Exhibitors, sponsors, and their representatives don’t want to spend an hour navigating the app. They want a simple solution that meets all their needs.

Luckily, that’s what your team is looking for too.

Find an app that has:

  • An intuitive UI, preferably with drag-and-drop tools
  • Easy-to-use UI for exhibitors and attendees too
  • Robust features that cover every step of the lead retrieval process

Make sure you book a sales demo to confirm all the above

When in doubt, you can always ask the sales rep about average engagement rates for current users. This will give you some insight into how easy existing users find the app.

2. Affordable

Some apps are loaded with more features than you can dream of. Unfortunately, this can increase the price, which means you might pay extra for features you don’t need.

So how do you save on your event budget?

Look for a lead retrieval software solution that offers tiered and flexible pricing. Apps that adjust pricing based on the number of events you’re hosting, or that are built to serve your specific niche, will be the best for your budget..

If you run events throughout the year, opting for an annual subscription can be another way to save money!

3. Part of an all-in-one event tool

An all-in-one event tool can streamline your event management workflow. Here’s how:

  • Fewer tools to learn. Getting onto the event floor is hard enough. Your exhibitors and sponsors should only have to go through the process of learning one core tool—and having an easy time of it, while they do.
  • Consolidated data. Your exhibitors don’t need to worry about a stack of business cards, a bunch of emails in a notes app, or information stored in a separate program. All of your exhibitor data, from sponsored banner clicks to company page views to lead information, will live in the same place.
  • Streamlined attendee information. No writing information down required! All the data that’s crucial to lead capture will be automatically transferred to the right exhibitor. 

4. Badge scanning

Badge scanning is a fundamental feature in any event tech solution. It makes capturing leads a breeze for exhibitors—they launch the app, scan the QR code, and that’s it!

After scanning the QR code, exhibitors can edit or add information. For example, they can include answers to lead retrieval questions and qualifiers.

With an event tech solution like EventMobi, you can create scannable badges within the platform. Start designing with a template (or from scratch) and design badges to fit your brand and style. 

Then, on event day, scan away!

5. Quick exports

Your exhibitors and sponsors will want to export lead information from the event app to:

  • Build relationships that could lead to a sale or other connection
  • Create leads or run a follow-up campaign
  • Revisit attendees’ opinions about the event format, networking activities, and more
  • Back up lead data on local storage
  • Better understand their target audience 

And many more, depending on their products and services

Exporting all of this information manually can take hours. But with a quick export option on the app, you’ll be set in seconds, and you can support your sponsors and exhibitors with their goals.

6. Analytics and ROI

Detailed analytics are an invaluable asset to every exhibitor and sponsor, and the ones you invite to your event are no different!

Using your lead retrieval app, exhibitors can track:

  • How many leads they captured
  • How many attendees came
  • Who entered the exhibitor hall
  • Number of company page views
  • Total meetings booked

For your part, you get a birds’ eye view of the overall event metrics. With this, you can shout-out your top-performing exhibitors and provide others with helpful tips about how to improve their ROI. 

It’s a win-win for you and your exhibitors—more data for everyone! 

Simplify Lead Retrieval for Exhibitors and Sponsors

At the end of the day, your exhibitors want to feel successful at your event. Great conversations are a cornerstone of the relationships formed at events, but lead retrieval helps your sponsors and exhibitors see results that have them coming back next year. 

Lead retrieval is the first step in determining the exhibitor’s event ROI. But without the right tool, lead retrieval can be tedious.

EventMobi’s lead capture functionality helps exhibitors quickly add qualified leads to their database. But that’s not all—you can also benefit by reselling Eventmobi’s lead capture tool!!

You can bring in additional revenue by:

  • Adding lead capture to sponsorship packages
  • Introducing tiered pricing to exhibitors by capping the number of onsite staff that can access the platform

Interested in improving your lead retrieval solution?💡 Book your personalized demo of EventMobi’s Event Management platform today!

Recommended Resource: 🎨 Experience design can completely transform how your attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors see your event.

Read The Experience Design Guide to learn how to design a memorable event, activate your brand, and get set up to measure success.