The days of scribbling down contact information in a notebook and collecting miscellaneous business cards in a fishbowl are long gone. Merely hoping people depart your tradeshow booth with enough reason to make a purchase or engage with your product or service isn’t a reliable strategy.

Tradeshows are one of the most effective ways to acquire new customers, according to HubSpot’s recent State of Inbound Marketing Trends report. This is an ideal opportunity to build face-to-face relationships with potential customers. Why wouldn’t you do everything in your power to seal the deal?

Exhibitors that optimize their lead capture process can continue the conversation, strategically nurture prospects and direct them through the sales funnel. Here’s a look at how:

Create Functional Event Collateral That Connects to a Digital Funnel

Aside from the booth design itself, it’s crucial to create impactful and eye-catching collateral optimized with a digital lead capture process.

Having top-notch salespeople is important, but visitors can’t pack one of your representatives up in a suitcase to remind them of the selling points. However, they can reference a brochure or flyer.

It’s important to create marketing collateral that is catered to the specific audience attending the event. This collateral should direct all readers to a landing page that is also specific to the event – rather than the homepage on the main site.

Unbounce has reported that one of every 10 people who visit a landing page will become a potential customer or lead. Landing pages should be concise and have one clear goal and incentive to keep the prospect focused. Common incentives include consultations, site surveys, discounts, giveaways and other event-exclusive offers. Your goal is generally to get them to opt into your email marketing communications. This process puts them into a funnel and ensures all contacts are synced into your CRM to streamline follow-ups.

Use QR Codes to Easily Capture Contacts Digitally

Tradeshow attendees who stop by your booth may seem interested in your offerings at the time, but once they have headed home, the excitement can fade. Capturing leads digitally allows you to enroll prospects into automated post-event drip campaigns that provide valuable content and continue educating.

QR codes make it easy to capture contacts via marketing collateral, signage and even the booth itself. Since QR codes have become the norm for ordering restaurant food since COVID, most people are accustomed to seeing them, and even expect them in many cases.

All QR codes should be accompanied by a clear call-to-action (CTA). As mentioned above, the action should answer, “What’s in it for me?”

Implement Post-Event Email Drip Campaigns

Email drip campaigns help nurture prospective customers after they have been added to your CRM, eliminating many hours dedicated to manual follow-ups.

More specifically, once a prospect has been synced into your CRM after submitting a form, an email is automatically triggered to continue the conversation and encourage them to proceed with their customer journey. This may include essential education to fuel the sales cycle or an opportunity to schedule a phone call with a rep.

Depending on whether the recipient opens or engages with the first email, another email is automatically triggered after a set time period to incite action. Emails can be “dripped” in this same manner until the goal has been completed or the lead is deemed cold.

When drip campaigns are strategically executed, they can help generate up to 80% more sales. Need we say more?

To have a successful tradeshow experience, you need a solid process, valuable incentives and impactful messaging. An experienced marketing team can ensure your event lead capture tactics are thoughtful, targeted and functional.