Most exhibitors tend to be “old school” when it comes to following up on leads they obtain from tradeshows. Nearly three out of four exhibitors count on the lead retrieval systems provided by show managers, and about three out of five use paper-based lead forms filled out in their booths or simply collect business cards.
Those were some of the conclusions of a study released today by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) entitled “Exhibitor Sales Lead Capture and Follow-up Practice Trends.” According to the report, fewer than one third of exhibitors do much in terms of lead qualifying, limiting the data they accumulate from tradeshow attendees to basic contact information and particular product or service interests.
Only 30 percent of exhibitors capture any kind of demographic information from attendees. About 64 percent of exhibitors do use customized e-mails to follow up on leads and about 59 percent follow up with personal phone calls.
According to the study, those are the two most popular forms of exhibitor follow-up on leads. About 70 percent of exhibitors say they conduct this follow-up within two weeks of the tradeshow at which the leads are accumulated.
“The good news is that exhibitors are following up on their leads,” says CEIR Research Director Nancy Drapeau. “Though again, how this is done varies greatly. Findings suggest systematic lead tracking is still in its infancy.”
According to CEIR, nearly 200 exhibitors participated in the survey research, conducted this past summer. Results of the CEIR study on exhibitor lead capture and follow-up is available for free to CEIR and International Association for Exhibitions and Events members at www.ceir.com. Nonmembers can purchase the report for $49.