Trade Show Lead Zappers, the Blessing and the Curse

Trade Show Lead ScannerOne of the biggest challenges faced by companies who employ a Trade Show Samurai-style strategy at the show is handling what can be an overwhelming number of sales leads. Mild-mannered employees will generally bring back only a small handful of leads if they bring any back at all. A Trade Show Samurai, on the other hand, will bring back hundreds or even thousands of new leads.

The first barrier to handling all those leads is data-entry. It is time consuming, boring, and runs the risk of never getting done which means all those great leads may get stale on the shelf. Many shows offer lead-zappers where you simply point the zapper-thing at the barcode on the badge and when it beeps you have an instant lead! Hooray! But wait—this isn’t enough. The electronically captured lead is worth slightly more, not much more, than a business card. The only thing you really know is whether they stopped by your booth long enough to get zapped. This won’t help your sales staff do much in the way of setting priorities. The other problem with zappers is that they can be expensive to rent and exhibitors make the mistake of only renting one to save money.

Lead zappers can be a great tool if you follow the following rules:

  1. Rent a lead zapper for every Trade Show Samurai in your booth. You don’t want to have to drag people over to the place where you keep your zapper and you don’t want to have to wait to use it.
  2. Zap more than just the badge. Many zappers will let you zap other things and append it to the information of the most recent badge-zap. This allows you to pre-define some characteristics and set them up before the show. Remember the lead card? If so, the information on the card can sometimes be structured so it can be zapped.

Lead zappers can be awesome tools if they don’t get in the way of the Trade Show Samurai’s work. If you can capture qualifiable information, don’t bother.

I often recommend clients use a lead-capture kiosk which includes a data-entry program and a laptop. Kiosks could also be a place to keep a badge zapper.

Bottom line- if you can make a badge zapper work for you then go for it.

For more information about lead retrieval systems check out this blog.

Mike Moyer

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