Capturing leads sounds terrifying. It’s not. To put it simply, lead capture is the process of attaining contact information from a potential customer via a form. By collecting this information, you have the tools you need to continue marketing to them in the future.

Leads, or prospects, are people that have the potential to be your next customer. They might have shown an interest in your business by visiting your website or exhibition stand. You can save time, money and effort by focussing your marketing effort on leads.

What is an Exhibition Lead Capture Form?

Gone are the days of tossing your business card into a fishbowl. Today we use tech to capture leads. Exhibition lead capture apps help you build a custom profile about individuals that have demonstrated an interest in your product or service.

The form collects data about each lead, such as contact information and job title. But a good exhibition lead capture form will have even more fields.

The more information you get the more personal the follow-up will be. But there’s a problem.

People don’t want to spend a long time filling out your form. The lead capture apps listed in the article above allow you to fill out additional information without asking the prospect.

You can get an idea on budget, competitors they’ve worked with, key problems they want to solve and the individuals’ decision-making power in a short chat on your exhibition stand. Add these details to your lead capture form to give your sales team a good foundation for the follow-up.

When do You Need a Lead Capture Form?

Lead capture forms aren’t just for exhibitions. Most companies will include a form on their website. You could use a lead capture form on your ‘contact us’ page, or scattered throughout your site for any leads who want to enquire.

You might have come across a ‘subscription wall’. This is a lead capture form that offers access to digital content in exchange for your contact information. You can do a similar thing on your exhibition stand.

Many exhibitors host games or competitions on their exhibition stand to drive traffic and capture leads. By completing the lead capture form, you’re entered into a competition to win an iPad (or something equally enticing). There are loads of exhibition stand games ideas that could help you capture leads.

How to Generate and Capture Leads

Exhibiting at a trade show is the best way to generate leads. You are literally putting your business in a room full of your target audience.

But booking a floor space is not enough. You need an eye-catching exhibition stand that people notice. Your pre-show marketing has to tell the world which show and what stand number they’ll find you at. And, to drive traffic to your booth you need to think about a competition or game that you can host.

If you get that right, you’ll generate leads. Now it’s time to capture them.

Capturing leads can be as simple as asking for contact information. In some cases, an email and a phone number could be all you need. However, if your goal is to grow your business you should capture as much lead data as you can.

Best Practices for Qualifying Leads

First, you need to qualify individuals. Are they interested in your product or service or did they just oblige for the chance to win an iPad?

Hot leads are people who are in the market for a product like yours. They have expressed their intent to find a new supplier and told you they have buying power. In exhibiting best practice, your team will know the right questions to be able to qualify leads in a few minutes.

It is easier to convert a hot lead into a customer. By spending time with qualified leads, you can capture more data about the kind of service they expect. All of this data can go into your lead capture app and handed over to the sales team for a perfect sales pitch idea.

The more time you spend with a hot lead, the more information you can gather. That’s why you need to qualify individuals quickly and avoid time wasters. You shouldn’t disregard people who don’t qualify. You never know when they will be looking for a product like yours

Lead Capture Form

Some people prefer traditional forms of lead capture. There is nothing wrong with that – as long as you are collecting enough information.

A simple trade show lead capture form that you design or download will suffice. If you plan on printing your form and asking attendees to complete it on your exhibition stand, make sure you have plenty of stationery and a seating area.

Nobody wants to spend a long time filling out a trade show form. Include the main fields and leave a notes section for your team to fill out with additional information.

Fields

These are the fields that you should aim to include on your trade show lead capture form:

  • Event
  • Date
  • Name
  • Title
  • Company
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Email Address
  • Product/Service Currently Using
  • Product/Service Interested In
  • Purchase Time Frame

This information will tell you whether you are dealing with an influencer or a decision-maker. It will also help you plan your follow-up. And you’ll have a good starting point when it comes to email marketing.

However, if you want to go a step further when it comes to personalising your follow-up, you need to extract additional information.

Additional information

Because no delegate wants to spend a long time filling out forms, it is your team’s job to extract as much useful information as they can. This is where face-to-face communication comes into its element.

You can extract information without asking for it. Facial expressions and body language tell you a lot about how somebody feels about something. If they’re very open, they might give you loads of details. If not, you might have to use your initiative.

Leave half a page empty on your lead capture form to fill with useful information. The additional information you collect will depend on your product.

For example, Quadrant2Design create custom-modular exhibition stands that are available to hire or purchase. We would want to know if they already own an exhibition stand; what kind of budget they had in mind; and, how many exhibitions they attend each year.

The answer to any of these questions would help us tailor our marketing to that individual. The answer to all of these questions would allow us to put together a free design concept and quote.

Capture More, High-Quality Leads

With all of this in mind, you’re in the best position to capture more, high-quality leads at your next trade show. Design a bespoke trade show lead capture form and generate leads tailored to your business.

In case you missed them, these are the two biggest takeaways from this article:

First – collect as much information as you can.

Second – do it quickly.

Trade show visitors don’t want to spend ages filling out your lead capture form, but your sales team will have a better chance if they have all the information they need. It is your exhibition stand team’s responsibility to extract as much information as they can as quickly and subtly as possible.