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CEIR study examines exhibitor sales lead-capture and follow-up practices

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) has released a new study entitled Exhibitor Sales Lead Capture and Follow-up Practice Trends, which indicates most organizations, 74 percent, use lead-retrieval systems provided by event organizers to capture sales leads. Nearly 60 percent also use either a paper-based lead form or collect business cards to capture leads.


“For the first time, CEIR research shows that exhibitors who capture sales leads have approaches in place to capture this information, though all methods are not created equal. They range from very basic to highly sophisticated,” said Nancy Drapeau, research director, CEIR. “The good news is that exhibitors are following up on their leads. Though, again, how this is done varies greatly. Findings suggest that systematic lead tracking is still in its infancy.”

CEIR’s original research provides an up-to-date look at how exhibitors are capturing sales leads at business-to-business exhibitions, what information is typically captured, which department handles follow-up, the most common follow-up methods and whether leads are tracked. The data provides insights into which follow-up methods are considered most effective and differences in practices by the size of organizations.

Highlights from the report include:

• The top two most common methods organizations use to capture leads are: lead retrieval system offered by an exhibition organizer, 74 percent, and paper-based lead form/collect business cards, 59 percent.

• Qualifying leads is infrequent, with only 30 percent of exhibitors capturing demographics and other lead qualifier questions, in addition to contact information and product or service interest information.

• Customized emails, 64 percent, and phone follow-up tailored to address attendee product or service interests, 59 percent, are the most common follow-up methods. Fulfillment of these efforts is completed within two weeks by over 70 percent of exhibitors using each method.

Survey results are based on a study conducted by CEIR this summer, polling a sampling of exhibitors from The International Center for Exhibitor and Event Marketing as well as Exhibtrac’s Top 250 exhibitions’ list. Nearly 200 exhibitors participated. The study was made possible by a grant from the Exhibition Industry Foundation.

CEIR serves to advance the growth, awareness and value of exhibitions and other face-to-face marketing events by producing and delivering knowledge-based research tools that enable stakeholder organizations to enhance their ability to meet current and emerging customer needs, improve their business performance and strengthen their competitive position.

 

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