The right choice of data capture event technology can make the difference between success and failure at an exhibition or trade fair. In this post, I’ll share my ABC of choosing the right data capture app to make the most of your activity.
There’s no getting away from it: we’re living in a digital age. We spend more time online than sleeping each day, according to Ofcom. As mobile technology becomes increasingly entwined in our day to day lives, that time is increasing.
The value of event data
This doesn’t mean face-to-face marketing is dying. Far from it. For example:
- One 2017 US study found that 87 per cent of respondents were either optimistic or hopeful of the effectiveness of trade shows as a marketing tool
- Between 2011 and 2015, the percentage of UK attendees intending to buy products seen at exhibitions rose from 47 per cent to 52 per cent [Exhibitors Survey Inc]
- Eighty two per cent have buying influence and 64 per cent visit stands of companies that they are not yet customers of
Event technology – getting it right
The opportunity is huge. Reed Events even claims exhibitions are the second most valuable sales lead capture tool after company websites. But to make the most of this opportunity, you need to merge the real and digital worlds. You can do this by sifting through the best event technology on offer to find the exhibition app that best suits your needs. Get it right and you’ll save time, seamlessly link with the rest of your operations, convert leads to sales and more.
The best event data capture app will help make all this a doddle. So here’s my ABC of choosing the right one…
A is for app
The choice of event technology might at first seem overwhelming. How do you select the right data capture software to meet your needs?
Exhibitions provide an opportunity that digital cannot: the chance to interact face-to-face with potential clients. The right app will give you the time to do just that. It’ll allow you to preset budgets, contact details and the parameters of the data you need to collect. It will be compatible with iOS or Android and use optical character recognition to ensure accurate readings. It needs to be intuitive, accurate and customisable. Users will need to access data instantly, so they can tailor their strategy on the floor accordingly.
In short, it needs to be so much more than just a business card scanner app.
B is for back office integration
Is the event data capture app you’re choosing able to integrate with your back office? It’s worth bearing this in mind because it will allow you to maximise ROI from an event. All operations of a business need to be kept in the loop of what’s going on at an exhibition to ensure the opportunities of an event are realised.
Many businesses will require data to be collected in a number of languages. A consistent approach to this data capture is crucial and, come 25 May this year, anyone operating within the EU will need the data captured to be compliant with the new GDPR regulations. Crucially, the app you choose will need to be compatible with your customer relationship management (CRM) system.
C is for conversion of leads
Let’s face it: this is the most important element of your event strategy. Research shows that leads made at exhibitions require an average of 3.5 interactions to convert into a sale, versus the average of 4.5 [CEIR], so you should already be at an advantage after an event.
The right app will tip the odds further in your favour. It will be able to send automated follow up emails and provide insights, allowing you to tailor customer messaging and deliver intelligent customer service. It’ll also enable you to scrutinise the value of your attendance after the event.
Seventy one per cent of SMEs attending trade shows in 2015 won business as a result of the contacts they made there, according to a Display Wizard survey. The right app will ensure you are among that 71 per cent.
By Amii Lanham