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How to use Captuvate to boost your trade show ROI.

Higher-quality follow-ups
Deeper analysis of event ROI
Capture more leads
Reduce AWOL prospects
Provide a better prospect experience
Reduce Wasted time on unqualified leads
Eliminate 'wasted' interactions
Spend less time on data entry


Treat your most valuable leads like they’re valuable leads

Here at Captuvate, we’re firm believers that not all leads are born equal.

The majority of event attendees who stop to visit your booth won’t be overly valuable to your business. That doesn’t mean that they are valueless. The sheer volume of them — when combined with a scaleable, nurture-based follow-up process — means that, en masse, they can contribute massively to your sales pipeline over time. It’s just that prospects within your target personas — and who are in the mindset to engage vendors — will be in the minority.

However, at every event, your team is engaging with prospects who ARE ready to speak to sales, who ARE showing signs of being afflicted with problems you can solve, and who ARE bang in the middle of your sweet-spot.

These prospects are disproportionately more valuable than the average lead. They’re motivated to learn, they’re willing to listen, and they’re more likely to move down the sales funnel at a greater velocity. In short, these are the leads your Sales team crave when you head off to an event.

But because these prospects are in the minority, most event marketers haven’t created a process for engaging them. This means that sales-ready prospects are being sent through nurturing campaigns. Or, alternatively, dumped on Sales with no context as to who they are or what makes them valuable.

We’ve built Captuvate to address this problem.

You most likely already have a process for nurturing event attendees who are only slightly interested in your offering. We’re providing you with the tools to effectively engage the prospects that Sales are crying out for, because it’s these leads that have a disproportionately higher effect on your sales pipeline in the short-term.

Read on, as we break down how Captuvate can help increase your event ROI.

Higher-Quality Follow-Ups

“We invested $40k in this trade show, and all we got was this lousy spreadsheet.”

If all you’re doing is scanning badges, all you’ll end up with is a spreadsheet of names and email addresses. In B2B sales — where lengthy, considered purchase processes are the norm — there’s still a ton of work to be done to generate revenue from the names on that spreadsheet. And if you’re only scanning badges to bolster your marketing database? Well, there’s tons of cheaper ways to do that than dropping half your budget on attending an event.

Fortunately, most B2B event marketers know they need to be capturing more information from prospects who look promising.

B2B sales is a team sport, and meeting a new prospect at an event is only step one in a multi-step process.

So part of your job as an event marketer is to tee-up your colleagues in Sales, so they can have an awesome step two.

How can Captuvate help?

By creating pre-defined notes in our app, your event team will be able to inform the Sales guys of the what was discussed at the booth. With intelligently-designed questions, 3 taps of the screen could tell your Sales team which problems the prospect is facing, what their key requirements are for a solution, and what objections will need to be overcome. All this can be used to tailor a follow-up discussion around the prospect’s situation, rather than it just being a glorified cold call, focusing on re-capturing all that information.

However, sometimes there’s golden nuggets of insight that you pick-up on in the booth, which can’t be slotted into predefined questions.

That’s why we created voice memos. As soon as a prospect leaves your booth — or at any point thereafter — quickly record any insights you uncovered, and they’ll be ready for your team to listen to within seconds.

Deeper Analysis Of Event ROI

Do you know how much your event really influenced this prospect?

Every marketer who invests their budget in events should be tracking what they’re getting back from their spend. At a minimum, that’s raw figures like number of leads generated, but most savvy marketers nowadays take it much further.

They track downstream activity, analysing what happened to those leads as they passed through the sales funnel. These are the guys who meticulously append the correct Salesforce campaigns to their new trade show leads within minutes of getting back to the office. After all, what good is generating a bucket-load of trade show leads if none of them result in new revenue for the company?

But even Marketers who excel at tracking their downstream performance can be left flummoxed by one question:

Do you know how much your event actually influenced this prospect?

If all you can prove is that they stopped-by your booth, how much influence did you really have?

How can Captuvate help?

Captuvate can do two things to make it easier to prove that your event really did influence your prospect. First, we help you capture more information about each at-booth conversation. And then, we can help you tee-up your sales team with scheduled follow-up appointments.

Setting up meetings and creating a paper-trail of prospect requirements you uncovered (as well as the names of the purchase influencers, their past experiences and any other information that Sales can use) are prime ways to prove your value in the sales funnel.

And this is especially true when the prospect already exists in your CRM. If you can’t show that your event generated the lead, it’s often difficult to prove the event had any influence over what happened afterwards.

But with Captuvate, you can track deeper touch-points with every prospect you engaged, whether they already existed in Salesforce or not. That makes it much easier to show the influence you can have on sales pipeline, even if you weren’t responsible for generating the lead in the first place.

Capture More Leads

How a strategy to capture 'better' leads can actually result in 'more' leads.

Obviously we have no control over how many prospects attend your events. And we can’t really help you entice prospects to your booth either.

And, we openly admit that capturing an (albeit high-quality) lead in Captuvate takes longer than scanning a badge.

So how can we help you capture more leads?

By leveraging the badge scanning technology provided by the event. We call this a two-pronged approach.

The first ‘prong’ is using the lead retrieval system heavily, but knowing it’s limitations.

We’re not the biggest fan of 99% of the lead retrieval systems you’ll come across on your travels. For the cost, they don’t add much value — only giving you access to the prospect’s contact details (which, as we know, isn’t much of a return for your 5-figure-plus event investment).

Plus, they end up giving your Sales team more work, as they have to trawl through those lists one-by-one, without any idea of who the ‘best’ prospects are.

But lead retrieval systems ARE good at scanning lots of badges very quickly. And THAT’S where you can capture more leads.

Sure, the vast majority of those leads won't be sales-ready, but if you have an automated nurture process in your marketing automation platform, you can educate these attendees over time, perhaps converting a percentage of them further down the line.

How can Captuvate help?

If you ONLY used this volume tactic, you wouldn’t be doing your Sales team any favours, and you’d be missing opportunities to drive sales pipeline in the short term.

Using Captuvate to record insights on your more-engaged prospects, frees your team to scan more badges.

Captuvate is the second ‘prong’. We take care of quality leads, lead retrieval systems provide a quantity of leads.

You get the best of both worlds. You tee-up engaged prospects for your sales team to have high-quality conversations with, AND you can begin to educate hundreds of event prospects (who are not sales-ready, but are at least topically-relevant) on your offering.

Reduce AWOL Leads

Schedule a follow-up conversation from the event floor, and don't get lost in the post-event din.

We’ve all had engaging booth conversations, only to see the prospect evaporate into thin air, never to be heard from again.

Of course, a few of these prospects probably weren’t ever interested in your offering.

But there are prospects who fell away for no other reason than life got in the way. They got back to their desks on Monday after the event, and when faced with their crammed calendar and overflowing inbox, their event-fuelled motivation starts to ebb away.

Most prospects aren’t helped by the fact that they probably met dozens of vendors (and partners, and colleagues, and industry associates) at these events. And given that most post-exhibition emails are filled with generic crap, it can be daunting for prospects to work out what their next steps should be, if they’re looking to turn their motivation into action.

So they don’t do anything. And as the weeks pass by, it becomes even harder to take action.

How can Captuvate help?

Captuvate helps you arrange next-steps with the prospect there and then on the event floor, so they’re less likely to forget you in the post-event din.

You can schedule a follow-up appointment with a hand-picked member of your team, someone who can share expertise on the prospect’s problem area.

Aligning your booth conversations with this end-goal in mind, you can sell the prospect on the benefits of speaking with one of your team, learning more about how specific customers have already solved their problems in the same way.

You’ve mapped out the path to greater understanding, and introduced them to who can show them the way. Isn’t that a whole lot more powerful than “one of our Sales team will reach out to you in the next couple of weeks?

Captuvate can sync with every member of your Sales team’s calendar, so you have real-time availability when you’re at the booth. You simply book a slot that works for the prospect.

And we even store 12 weeks of availability offline, so you can schedule meetings even if you temporarily lose your internet connection.

Provide A Better Prospect Experience

More rewarding experiences for prospects who are worth it.

As we’ve already discussed, not all leads are of equal value. There’s going to be a ton of attendees stopping-by your booth, where probably the most you can hope for is to educate them on your solution over time. They're just not going to buy any time soon.

But some leads are super-valuable.

One Event Marketer recently mentioned that one of her booth prospects signed-up for their freemium product within hours of visiting their booth. And by the time they started work the next day, he’d bought enough product to pay for the whole event!

We all love anecdotes like this. But are we prepared for those types of interactions?

Try this thought-exercise.

Think about your biggest customers for a second. Now imagine that they’re still only a prospect, and that their CEO (or CTO, or VP Marketing or whoever) stops into your booth to get a better understanding of what you do.

How would you react?

I really hope you wouldn’t simply scan their badge and leave them to be nurtured in Marketo or Hubspot.

Instead, you (or your sales guy) would probably have a fruitful conversation with them, arrange for some next steps, and take their business card. You’d also want to take notes on that conversation ASAP, just so you don’t forget anything important.

Now, I can guarantee you that this prospect’s experience of your company would be 10-times more positive than the average booth conversation. And that’s because you recognised the value of this opportunity, and created a better experience for them on-the-fly.

How can Captuvate help?

Captuvate helps you create more rewarding experiences for prospects who are worthy of it.

Using our app, a VIP prospect can be introduced to a hand-picked member of your team — maybe it’s your own CEO — and shown how a discussion with this individual will help them get their head around their existing problem.

A meeting can be booked-in there and then, to avoid the inevitable email-tag, back and forth. And then you’ll be leaving in-depth notes for your colleague, so that when the discussion takes place, they’ll be up-to-speed on what matters to the prospect. There’s no point in gathering all that information at the booth, just to start the follow-up call as if you’ve never met.

(Oh, and you’ll automatically be able to tie that initial interaction back to your booth conversation. So if your prospect ends up buying enough product to pay for your event, your booth conversation will get appropriate attribution for setting them on their way.)

Reduce Wasted Time On Unqualified Leads

The average badge scan leaves Sales with a ton of low-value work to do.

It takes a brave Marketer to factor the cost of Sales follow-up time into their event ROI calculations. Whether or not you go that far, most realise that sales teams are a valuable (and expensive) resource, and that it’s not in your company’s best interest to have them working on low-value tasks.

But that’s exactly what happens when Marketers throw all their trade show leads “over the wall” to Sales, after returning from the event.

Having a name on a spreadsheet — alongside an email address and, perhaps, a phone number — is not a terribly valuable piece of data in today’s world. ‘Names’ are ten-a-penny, and Sales Ops teams can generate more targeted lists of prospects using tools like Linkedin. Sure a spreadsheet highlights who stopped-by the booth — indicating some engagement — but it still leaves Sales with a ton of work to do, and chasing these names can be very low-value work.

How can Captuvate help?

Instead, only send leads to Sales when it’s worthwhile to do so.

In your discussions with prospects at an event, identify whether there would be value in them speaking to your sales team. (Remember, it’s all in how you sell this conversation. No-one wants to be sent into a hard-sell environment, but they're more likely to take up an offer to learn how their problem was solved by others.)

Captuvate can help by providing a process for getting these valuable leads into the hands of your sales team ASAP. Your guys will know who to focus on and maybe even which leads are expecting their call. Because you’ve done a better job of segmenting leads at the booth, any leads not captured in Captuvate can be given a lower priority, helping your team direct their efforts towards the more valuable tasks.

Even if only a percentage of your trade show leads are sent directly to Sales via Captuvate, you can bring other valuable prospects to their attention via lead scoring methods in your marketing automation tool.

Shape The Prospect's Vision Of A Solution

Influence your prospect’s buying criteria long before your competitor’s lead scoring tool has qualified them for Sales’ attention.

Today, companies who pass-up opportunities to proactively educate prospects are missing a trick.

In B2B sales, most products are sufficiently complicated as to demand a tailored explanation of how they deliver value. And most buyers have such a unique set of circumstances that there will always be nuances around how their problems are solved.

Drilling down on what matters to a prospect demands a human touch. Most nurture-based marketing can’t handle the complexity.

But if all you are doing is letting your content marketing assets educate the prospect, you may be losing out on deals without even realising what’s happening. Why? Your competitors are proactively shaping your prospect’s vision. And they’re doing it in a way that enhances the attractiveness of their solution in comparison to yours.

How can Captuvate help?

Stating the obvious, but you’re attending events, where two parties are talking face-to-face. If, during your conversation, you identify that a prospect could benefit from some focused, personalised education, then arrange for that to happen ASAP (and Captuvate can help with that). Between your booth conversation and a follow-up call, you can shape your prospect’s vision of a better tomorrow more effectively than any marketing literature could.

When you’re face-to-face, you don’t need lead scoring tools to tell you that a prospect could benefit from a call with your team (as would be the case when you’re getting thousands of web-based leads per month and need to prioritise Sales’ workload).

If you have an engaged prospect who is opening their heart to you, pounce on that opportunity today — even if they’ve openly admitted they’re not going to buy for another few months. You can be influencing your prospect’s buying criteria long before your competitor’s lead scoring tool has qualified them for Sales’ attention.

To quote Bob Apollo: “In complex B2B sales, the salesperson that gets in early and does most to shape the prospect's vision of a solution wins three-quarters of all contested opportunities.”

Eliminate 'Wasted' Interactions

To maximise your event ROI, maximise your return from every conversation.

As much as we’d love it to be the case, not every prospect you meet at your events is going to be a C-level prospect from a target account. In fact, sometimes it feels like the opposite. You end up meeting loads of “junior” prospects, where it quickly becomes clear that they don’t have the authority to purchase anything from you.

Quite rightly, these are the leads that your Sales guys would deprioritize, when they’re working out who to call post-event.

But that doesn’t automatically mean speaking with these leads is a waste of time. We’re big believers in the idea that to maximise your event ROI, you need to maximise your return from every interaction that you have. So sure, your max return from these conversations isn’t going to be a closed-won opportunity. It may not even be worth scheduling a follow-up call for Sales.

But you can still gather insights that will help your Sales guys sell into the account — to a prospect further up the food chain.

How can Captuvate help?

Because Captuvate helps you record your key talking points in a voice memo, the insights you gather from any prospect will make it back to your Sales team.

So structure your conversations with ‘lesser’ prospects around gathering information — not trying to ‘sell’ — and then make sure your team are informed of what you uncovered.

Sure, you’ll need to be respectful of how you engage your prospect — you don’t want her to think she’s just being used for information — but I guarantee you’ll learn at least one juicy insight that Sales can use.

(Note, it’s probably also worth highlighting to your sales team that this prospect isn’t suitable for them right now. Part of getting a better ROI on your events is in not wasting your resources, so encourage your team to spend their time where it’ll be more effective.)

No Crappy Automated Emails

For worthy prospects, insightful, personalized follow-up emails can be sent just as quickly.

So this one might be controversial!

For the record, Captuvate allows you to send automated emails to prospects you meet at the booth. We can see value in doing that.

If you’re meeting with hundreds of prospects and you know your team won’t be able to personally respond to them quickly, it can make sense. Or, if you’re distributing content that prospects have requested, then that works too.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

If all you’re doing is sending an email that thanks a prospect for stopping by your booth, you’re probably doing it wrong. These emails offer no value to the prospect whatsoever. They’ve taken time out of their schedule to attend an event, and their inbox will already be filling-up in their absence. Your email doesn’t help — if anything, you’re commoditizing yourself alongside every other vendor who is doing the same thing.

How can Captuvate help?

Using these emails as a tactic stems from an inability to manage lots of leads, and an inability to prioritise the best leads. It’s a coping mechanism more than it's a valued marketing tactic.

Captuvate helps you prioritise your prospects. If you’re capturing them in Captuvate, they’re either valuable by default, or they’ve been tagged as being valuable in the app.

Additionally, Captuvate’s Salesforce.com integration gets your data to where it needs to be instantly. So there’s no need to wait until days after the event for your Sales team to plan their follow-up. Do it now.

Finally, as we’ve already discussed, Captuvate give you the insight you need to create kick-ass follow-ups.

So with Captuvate, there’s no need to send generic, valueless automated emails, when you can send engaging hand-crafted follow-ups to a prioritised list of prospects, just as easily, and just as quickly.

Spend Less Time On Data Entry

At-booth and post-event data entry processes really add-up over a full events calendar.

Data entry sucks. There’s 3 primary ways it manifests itself when capturing leads at events (some or all of which may apply to you, depending on how you capture leads).

At the booth:

If you’ve decided (correctly!) that it’s worthwhile capturing more information about a lead than just scanning their badge, you need to capture that data somehow. Whether or not you’re using a paper form to answer questions about your recently-concluded conversation, or you’re using an electronic equivalent (such as Google Forms), it takes a while to write (or type) what you’ve learned.

Business cards:

Post event, if you’ve captured business cards, you need to extract the contact details from them so you can actually follow-up. Many a marketing intern can attest to the soul-destroying nature of this task!


Using paper forms returns to bite you twice, because not only does it take ages at the booth, but you then have to copy it into your CRM before your sales team can actually start acting upon your insights.

How can Captuvate help?

We believe it’s the insights gathered from face-to-face conversations that make events so powerful. So we’ve built Captuvate to make it easy to get this info to where it needs to be — without manual data entry.

First, our ‘forms’ are designed to be completed with just a few taps. With a bit of thought during the setup process, you can capture some great insights with 3 or 4 easily-completable multiple-choice questions.

For everything else, there’s voice memos, which let you capture free-form notes as quickly as you can talk.

Finally, our Salesforce.com integrations ensure that your information is delivered to your sales team in real-time, without any manual upload (or human-manipulation) needed.

Extrapolated over your full events calendar, the minutes you save recording every worthwhile booth conversation and the hours you save post-event can really stack up.

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