For many organisations, exhibiting at trade shows and events is one of their most important marketing channels. Events give businesses a chance to embrace the power of face-to-face marketing, at a time when most of our communication happens digitally.
Unfortunately, the events industry hasn’t kept up with the pace of development in marketing technology. Many trade show exhibitors rely on outdated, manual lead capture processes, which slows down their follow-up, and means they miss out on valuable sales leads.
The manual lead capture problem
If you’re relying on manual lead capture processes, such as stapling business cards to hand-written notes, or filling-in paper forms, there’s one big problem: it’s slow.
When you can reach out to an organisation via their website, and reasonably expect a response within a matter of days, you shouldn’t have to wait longer to hear back from someone you’ve spoken to in-person at an event.
Ocean Optics experienced first-hand the pains of relying on manual lead capture processes.
Danielle Ravenshorst, Marketing Manager EMEA at Ocean Optics described their standard process of collecting leads at events: “We would hand-write all the leads on paper from each day of the conference and, when we got back to the office, one or two of our colleagues would enter them manually into our system. This process took our customer service team about two weeks to complete.”
For Ocean Optics, lead generation was one of their top priorities when exhibiting at trade shows. But the slow progress of their follow-up put their relationships with prospective customers at risk: “Our sales team would be anxious to follow up with their leads—especially the hot ones. The delay would cause these early-stage relationships to stagnate and sometimes fall apart.”
How Akkroo enabled Ocean Optics to cut lead follow-up time from 2 weeks to 2 days
Using Akkroo was a big change for Ocean Optics’ lead collection process. They were able to stop relying on pen and paper, and speed-up the entire lead capture and follow-up process: “With Akkroo, the event lead information was immediately available, readable, and shareable for everyone involved. It was very easy to design our own online form and capture any information I wanted. Not only that, but it was much more accurate. We had more information per lead as well.”
Adopting Akkroo for their event lead capture meant:
- Data entry time dropped by 80%.
- Follow-up took only 2 days, rather than 2 weeks.
- Sales reps were able to follow-up with hot leads faster than ever.
- Ocean Optics can now prove the value of their events strategy.
Danielle revealed that using Akkroo had had a noticeable, significant impact on the time her team spent processing data: “Akkroo immediately reduced the data entry time drastically—by about 80%. What used to take more than a week to complete was getting done in almost real-time. The better data we’ve received has been incredibly helpful. Our sales team is now able to follow up on hot leads quickly to nurture relationships and close new deals.”
The added benefit: proving the value of Ocean Optics’ events and trade shows
Ocean Optics found that speeding-up their lead capture wasn’t the only benefit of using Akkroo. Danielle discovered that, since using Akkroo, it’s been easier to demonstrate the value of the organisation’s trade shows and events in a clear and measurable way:
“Our reporting is much easier and more effective. Since I now know the leads we generate from each event, I can prove the value of my efforts. I can point to a real, meaningful pipeline that gets generated from each event. The accuracy of the statistics makes these decisions much easier so we can focus on where we can make more of a difference.”
Can Akkroo help you follow-up faster – and outpace your competition?
Many event teams will have created processes to make manual lead capture processes – like using paper forms – work for them. But it’s likely that digital, automated lead capture will be a much easier process – once they get used to using the new tools and technology.
If exhibiting at events, congresses and trade shows is a crucial part of your face to face marketing strategy, improving your lead capture process can give you a real edge over the competition.