lead capture methods

Table of Contents

Top 5 lead capture methods for trade shows

Top 5 lead capture methods for trade shows

Top 5 lead capture methods for trade shows

Top 5 lead capture methods for trade shows

Trade shows offer a prime opportunity to connect with potential customers and expand your business network. However, without an effective lead capture strategy, you might leave these valuable events empty-handed. In this blog, we’ll explore the top five lead capture methods for trade shows that can help you maximize your return on investment (ROI) and turn those event attendees into loyal customers. After all, the success of your trade show experience greatly depends on your ability to turn these leads into loyal customers.

The Power of Lead Capture

Before we dive into specific lead capture methods, it’s crucial to understand why capturing leads at tradeshows is essential. Leads are the lifeblood of any business, and tradeshows provide a unique opportunity to collect valuable information about potential customers.

 Why are Leads Important at Tradeshows?

At tradeshows, you’re in a concentrated environment filled with individuals interested in your industry. These individuals are potential customers or partners, making them valuable leads. By capturing their information, you can nurture these leads and convert them into loyal clients.

The Role of Logistics in Lead Capture

Efficient logistics are the backbone of successful lead capture at tradeshows. Ensure you have a well-organized booth, a capable team, and all necessary materials to capture leads effectively.

Traditional Lead Capture Methods

Business Card

The traditional exchange of business cards remains an effective method. Have a stack of well-designed, informative cards ready to hand out, and make sure to collect cards from potential leads in return.

Manual Data Entry

This method involves jotting down lead information in a notebook or spreadsheet. While it’s simple, it can be time-consuming and error-prone. Be sure to have a dedicated staff member for data entry.

Modern Lead Capture Methods

  1. Digital Lead Retrieval Apps

In today’s digital age, it’s crucial to leverage technology for lead capture at trade shows. Digital lead retrieval mobile event apps have become indispensable tools for exhibitors. These apps allow you to scan attendees’ badges or business cards quickly and efficiently, collecting their contact information and other relevant data.

The benefits of using digital lead retrieval mobile event apps include:

  • Instant Data Access: No more deciphering handwritten notes or manually entering contact information. The data is available immediately, reducing the risk of errors.
  • Customizable Data Fields: Tailor the data collection process to your specific needs, allowing you to gather information that’s most relevant to your business.
  • Seamless Integration: Many of these apps integrate with CRM systems, ensuring a smooth transition of leads into your sales pipeline.

Sarcon is a great trade show software, which has this feature, where the QR Code gets used for lead capture for exhibitors as well as for tracking event attendance.

  1. Interactive Booth Displays

Engagement is key at trade shows, and interactive booth displays can help you capture leads in a memorable way. Incorporate interactive elements like touchscreen displays, games, or live demos to attract and engage attendees.

Here’s how interactive displays boost lead capture:

  • Visitor Engagement: Interactive displays draw attendees to your booth, making it easier to strike up conversations and collect their information.
  • Data Capture Opportunities: Use interactive elements to collect attendee data through surveys or contests. Offer incentives like discounts, giveaways or exclusive content in exchange for their information.
  • Memorable Experience: A memorable interaction increases the likelihood that attendees will remember your booth and visit your website or reach out post-event.
  1. Lead Scanning Wearables

For exhibitors who want to take lead capture to the next level, consider using lead scanning wearables. These innovative devices are worn by booth staff and can scan attendee badges with a simple tap, eliminating the need for handheld scanners or mobile apps.

Advantages of lead scanning wearables include:

  • Efficiency: Staff can move freely around the booth, scanning badges as they interact with attendees, ensuring no leads are missed.
  • Reduced Lines: Long lines at booths can deter potential leads. Wearables expedite the process, reducing wait times and improving the attendee experience.
  • Real-time Data: Data collected is instantly synchronized with your lead management system, allowing for quick follow-up.
  1. QR Codes and Landing Pages

QR codes have made a comeback in recent years, thanks to their compatibility with smartphones. Create QR codes that link to dedicated landing pages where attendees can provide their contact information or access exclusive event resources.

Here’s how QR codes and landing pages can be effective:

  • Easy Access: Attendees can quickly scan a QR code with their smartphones, providing a convenient way to connect with your brand.
  • Customizable Content: Tailor landing pages to the event, offering event-specific content, promotions, or resources that encourage attendees to engage.
  • Lead Segmentation: Different QR codes for different events or locations allow for easy lead segmentation and personalized follow-up.
  1. Social Media Engagement

Harness the power of social media to capture leads at trade shows. Create event-specific hashtags and encourage attendees to share their experiences on social platforms. Monitor these hashtags and engage with attendees online, directing them to your booth for a chance to win prizes or gain access to exclusive content.

Benefits of using social media for lead capture include:

  • Wider Reach: Social media extends your booth’s reach beyond the event floor, attracting attendees who may have missed your booth.
  • Engagement Tracking: Track online engagement to identify potential leads, and use social media analytics to measure your campaign’s success.
  • Content Sharing: Attendees who share your content are essentially endorsing your brand to their network, potentially reaching new customers.

For more info read :Mastering Trade Show Marketing with Social Media

Post-Show Lead Nurturing

Prompt Follow-Up

The work doesn’t end when the event or exhibition concludes. Effective follow-up and lead nurturing are essential to converting captured leads into paying customers. After the tradeshow, promptly follow up with your leads. Send personalized messages or emails to express gratitude for their visit and provide additional information about your products or services.

Lead Scoring and Segmentation

Segment your leads based on their interests and engagement level. Craft personalized follow-up emails and content that address their specific needs.Use lead scoring to prioritize follow-ups, ensuring your team focuses on the most promising prospects. A timely and relevant follow-up can significantly increase your conversion rates. 

Content Marketing

Share valuable content, such as whitepapers or case studies, with your leads. This not only provides them with useful information but also showcases your expertise.


Mastering lead capture at trade shows requires a well-rounded approach that starts with pre-event planning and extends to post-event follow-up. By implementing the five best lead capture methods outlined in this  guide, you’ll be well on your way to maximizing the returns on your trade show investments . Remember, the key is to provide value to attendees and make their experience at your booth memorable.


Q:How do I choose the right lead capture method for my business?

 Consider your target audience, budget, and booth setup. Choose a method that aligns with your goals and resources.

Q: What should I do if my lead capture mobile app malfunctions during the event?

Use a trusted lead capturing mobile event app like Sarcon that offer a dedicated support team in case of any issues  or have a backup plan in place, such as paper lead forms, to ensure you don’t miss out on capturing valuable leads in case of technical issues.

Q: How often should I follow up with trade show leads?

Timely follow-up is crucial. Send an initial follow-up message within a few days of the event, and then continue nurturing leads with relevant content over time.

Q: What’s the best way to measure the ROI of a trade show?

Calculate ROI by subtracting the total costs of attending the trade show from the revenue generated through leads and sales attributed to the event.

Q: Can I capture leads without attending a trade show in person?

Yes, you can capture leads through virtual trade shows and webinars. Many of the same lead capture principles apply in the virtual space.