How you turn a trade show visitor into a digital lead

By Peter Ishii

How you turn a trade show visitor into a digital lead

Most likely, your company is organised for generating leads online. All your colleagues live and breathe digital, taking every opportunity to come up with ideas for new and relevant content, attracting your personas. But even if this is obvious for companies that have come a long way, there are times when people suddenly get back to analogue...

The trade show – an overlooked opportunity

Even though more and more communication and business processes are moved online, participation in trade shows is a matter of course for many companies. As the fair is coming closer, the colour of candy paper and pens suddenly seem more important than thinking about how the opportunity–and thus the investment–should be utilised to generate new leads online. It is too bad because the fair could be an excellent opportunity to connect the analogue world with the digital.

Your visitors are your personas!

Still, in 2020 you can see visitors carrying loads of brochures (which will remain unread in the hotel room when the visitor has gone home). And still, in 2020 you can see exhibitors and visitors exchange business cards. Surprisingly, the visitor's business cards are often put in a box to be sorted later on. Thus, someone must try to recall who showed interest in what and then hand over to either the CRM system or a colleague. Hopefully, this will result in establishing contact that will ultimately provide a satisfied customer.

But let's reflect for a moment: In the everyday digital life, you know your personas and their needs on your fingers - but at the trade fair, a visitor becomes a business card instead.

In the everyday digital life, we meet needs and questions with our knowledge - but at the analogue fair, we send away the visitor with a brochure, a ballpoint pen and a mint candy. At best, the visitor has shown interest in something so that you can send an email sometime later on.

This is the big mistake when postponing the digital relationship until a later occasion!

An unknown visitor to the exhibition centre is likely to be one of your personas. With a few quick questions, you know which one.

Would you like your 5 minutes to be digital or analogue?

Five minutes with an unknown visitor. In this short time, you should identify her and her real needs. If there is a relevant match, you should be able to quickly serve the world's best argument for just your business having the solution. And this at the same time it circulates other unknown visitors that you also need to catch up before they can move on.

”Use the short time to help your visitor start her inbound journey”

Instead, if you explain and show the visitor how you share your knowledge of blogs and other content that might suit the visitor's needs, this may be the first step on her inbound trip. And maybe this is so interesting to the visitor that she subscribes to your blog in place. Then you know who she is, you know what to do next - and you do not have to worry about unnecessary business cards. 

Get in touch with an expert to get more tips on how to turn your visitors into digital leads.

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Peter Ishii
Pé är generalist med lång erfarenhet av alla typer av kommunikation och innehåll.
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