In a world that gets its business done on smartphones, laptops, and tablets, it should come as no surprise that lead capture has gone digital, too. Trade show lead capture apps are popping up everywhere, promising to transform your approach to events, and event organizers are taking notice.
But to really earn a place in your booth toolkit, a solution should do more than just function as a a trade show badge scanner app. It should be more than just a receptacle for data you gather at trade shows. In short, it should do something useful with that data–and offer you something useful in return.
81% of trade show and event attendees have buying authority. That means each and every show you attend is full of hot leads. Imagine the opportunities you could share with your marketing and sales team with an app that goes beyond simple data collection and dives into analytics.
Shopping for a solution? Remember, you can demand more from your lead capture app.
- More ways (and easier ones, too) to follow up with hot leads.
- More ways to measure return on investment for events you attend.
- More easy-to-set-up integrations with preferred major CRMs.
1. Following Up On Qualified Leads
Would you be impressed with a calculator for accurately solving 2+2? If not, then you shouldn’t be impressed by a lead capture app that only collects lead data.
On the most fundamental level, apps are designed to read and store data. Most badge scanners and business card apps do just that (and do it well). Unfortunately, very few of them offer actionable ways to follow up with qualified leads.
As you shop for a lead capture solution, don’t settle for calculator-level capabilities. Go ahead–ask for a little more, especially when it comes to…
- Following up with leads after trade shows.
- Making your booth team’s life easier.
- Identifying more qualified leads.
- Nipping busywork and time-wasters in the bud.
2. Measuring Trade Show Return on Investment (ROI)
What’s the point in gathering trade show data if your app isn’t putting it to good use?
Measuring trade show ROI is non-negotiable. You deserve to know whether you’re putting your time, energy, and resources to good use. It’s not about how many badges you scan, but how many hot leads you’re gathering – because at the end of the day, 1 in 7 leads captured are hot.
Lead retrieval is nice, but an app that can show you your return on investment (ROI) is divine.
- A good lead capture app changes to suit your needs. It should offer custom solutions built around simplicity, speed, consistency, and visibility, so your team can work effectively and improve post-show marketing efforts.
- Your chosen solution should make good use of analytics. Tracking KPIs and other metrics from events can help your team systematically capture and qualify leads, as well as measure performance from event to event.
(Interested in measuring your most recent event ROI? Visit our trade show ROI calculator.)
3. CRM System Integration
The best technology is flexible and agile enough to integrate with existing systems. The lead capture app you choose should play well with your customer relationship management (CRM) system.
- It should connect leads to existing workflows to maximize time spent following up rather than building new scaffolding.
- It should integrate with major CRM systems and marketing automation software, like, Marketo, HubSpot, Salesforce Pardot, mySQL, etc. (Learn more here.)
- It should automatically sync leads and contacts in real time to ensure consistency across your teams and organization.
- It should come with a support team that can offer guidance as you adjust your tech stack.
4. A Single Mobile App for Trade Shows of All Sizes
You could buy a set of measuring cups, or you could buy one big one that holds all the amounts you need (and then some). The same is true of trade show mobile apps. There are hundreds to choose from, but only a few that function as a single solution for every stop on your circuit.
From largest international trade shows to small networking events, your event app should:
- Work offline, so your most important tools can go where you go (even if there’s no wifi).
- Offer contactless data capture, like badge and QR code scanning.
- Transform captured data into instantly usable leads by uploading directly into your CRM and Marketing Automation System.
- Solutions provider support so you have a resource to turn to with questions or concerns.
5. Data Security and Compliance
These features should be standard practice for all lead capture apps. Just in case, be sure to read the details and fine print of every solution you consider.
The data your chosen lead capture app delivers to your tech stack should be clean and consistent.
- Look for GDPR, CCPA, and SOC2 compliance.
- Ask about template architecture.
Best Trade Show Apps
Now that you’ve got your wishlist for the best trade show app, it’s time to start shopping around.
How do we know which apps are worth your time (and which are better left in the app store)? Because we’ve done the research. We’ve gone to trade shows, we’ve been on both sides of the booth, and we’ve tested more than our fair share of solutions.
Because let’s face it–at the end of the day, it’s all about making life easier for the people who collect leads. (Hot ones, if we have anything to say about it.) That’s why we built iCapture: an easy-to-use, all-in-one companion for trade shows, booth teams, follow-ups, and more.
It’s earned its place in countless businesses’ toolkits, and we think it could be your team’s next MVP, too.