5 Tips to Use Surveys as a Lead Generation Tool at Trade Shows

The busy trade show season is upon us. Do you know how to bring qualified leads to your booth and convert those leads into customers?

To get the most out of your trade show interactions, below is a check list that you can use as a guide to maximize your conversations with current and potential customers, and turn them into conversions.

Set sales and marketing objectives.  It is important to first set sales and marketing objectives for a trade show. Trade shows are not just about collecting sales leads. Here are some examples of good objectives:

  • Face-to-face communication. Ensure you make face-to-face contact with current and potential customers that you have only made contact with through email. You will need to acquire the attendee list or a list of companies attending so your team can review to ensure they will be in attendance.
  • Set an objective for leads. “We will generate “x” number of qualified leads.” For this objective, it is important to generate a list to define who represents the characteristics of a qualified customer. Your company could use survey software to create a leads qualification online survey or mobile survey.
  • Set-up demonstrations. “Schedule or deliver “X” number of product demonstrations.”
  • Do some competitor investigating. Find out what competitors are offering for new products and services.

Choose a trade show theme. Create a theme that features the products and services you are selling, combined with messages that are important to your customers. Make your theme interesting, fun, energetic, or even unexpected. A combination of a unique theme with key sales messages, eye-catching signage, and clever giveaways, will generate the most booth traffic. When it comes to themes, think outside the box.

Introduce your business before the show. Plan to send out a direct mail piece or an invitation to visit your booth to current and potential customers. It can be costly to send a direct mail piece to thousands of attendees.  Review the attendee mailing list to target your audience and send only to those individuals.  This is also a great opportunity to use your survey software to create a survey! On the mailing, you can include a link to an online leads qualification survey. This online survey is a way to engage with attendees. You can learn a lot about potential customers by asking them 5 – 7 targeted questions that focus on key areas in which they have frustrations with their current products or services, and identify ways in which your company’s products or services  can solve their issues.

Consider turning the online survey questions into a quiz format. When the respondent submits the survey, they can be redirected to a customized landing page specifically for the trade show. The landing page can also include a breakdown of quiz responses.  For example:

“You answered “d” to question #5, which indicates you have the most common issue with your software. Be sure to visit us at booth #101 and try our new software product created just for this common issue. We would be glad to give you a brief demonstration as well.” 

You may also request respondents PRINT the landing page and bring it to your booth to receive a free giveaway or to be entered into a prize drawing.

Survey your customers. Using the same leads qualification survey, survey those that visit your booth.  Survey visitors with an online survey at computer stations; using a kiosk survey, or a handheld device, such as a mobile survey. Many advanced survey software providers have multiple-mode surveying capabilities. Once a visitor completes your survey, give them a promotional item as an incentive for completing your survey. Be sure to keep promotional items hidden and only give them to people who complete your survey.

Use individual survey results to drive your trade show sales process.  Use the survey results as talking points to engage with the customer.

Follow up with survey results from the show.  Take the results from the online lead qualification survey and turn them into results that you can share with everyone who visited your booth.  Write a report that takes current customers and prospective customers through the areas that are important to them, and demonstrate how your company’s products or services can help solve the issues.

Try using surveys as a lead generation tool for your next trade show.  Surveys are an effective way to gather information about current and potential customers’ needs, as well as a tool to engage with customers and gather important customer data that you can use in the future.

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