Friday, May 16, 2014

NFC Hotspots Simplify Content Delivery at Cartes America 2014

Exhibitors were the beneficiaries of a big leap in content delivery technology at Cartes America 2014 this week in Las Vegas, courtesy of ITN.

ITN, the official lead retrieval provider for Cartes 2014, provided every exhibitor who ordered a lead retrieval solution a complimentary BTAG, an innovative wireless hotspot that capitalizes on near-field communication (NFC) to simplify the delivery of content to attendees.

Attendees take advantage of the self-serve hotspots by touching them with their show badges. The touch logs the attendee’s request for whatever content the exhibitor has assigned to the BTAG.

Links to that content are provided to the attendee at the end of each day of the event through an email.  A cumulative email is also sent at the close of the event with all the links assigned to all the BTAGs the attendee touched throughout the entire event.

Email opens and click-throughs are tracked by ITN’s back-end system and reported to exhibitors.

Exhibitors at Cartes America 2014 were impressed by the BTAG’s elegance.
ITN has made it easy for exhibitors to upload product information and assign it to a BTAG. And they appreciated the fact that attendees don’t need a special device to collect that content—all they need is their event badge. BTAGs make it easy for attendees to bring home sharable product info, and easy for exhibitors to identify by attendee who’s interested in their products.

As well as functioning as an NFC reader—able to read badge-touches—each BTAG is also an active NFC tag able to pass information to other readers.  As a result, attendees can also touch any BTAG with an NFC phone or tablet to acquire content. In this case, the attendee’s device simply opens the Web link assigned by the exhibitor to the BTAG.

BTAGs are self-contained, battery-powered units that can be affixed with Velcro to any surface, including posters, signs, walls, tables, counters, kiosks and other structures.  A BTAG can also be worn by booth staff, or deployed on pods supplied by ITN.

Friday, May 2, 2014

3 Global Trends in Lead Retrieval

ITN serves more than 15,000 exhibitors around the world. Our interaction with so many clients puts us in the ultimate spot for trend-watching.

Today’s exhibitors, we've noticed, yearn for many improvements in the way they capture leads at tradeshows. But three wants seem to be trending.
Exhibitors want sales-ready leads
No matter how large or small their companies, all executives want their teams to zero in on tradeshow visitors who are “sales ready.”

Distinguishing sales-ready visitors from the rest is an art, not a science; but it’s an art that technology can vastly improve.

Aided by a custom-made lead-qualification survey—one that drills down to such all-important questions as “purchasing authority” and “timing”—any team member can quickly assess who’s hot and who’s not, and respond to the opportunity properly.
When that survey resides on the lead-capture device, the exercise of consistently qualifying visitors feels natural and seamless, and becomes standard practice among the team.

Exhibitors want more leads
While placing priority on sales-ready leads, most executives also want to increase the quantity of leads their companies capture during a tradeshow. They understand that leaving a show with buckets of new leads keeps the sales pipeline filled and justifies the marketing spend.

To boost the quantity of leads collected, the exhibitor first needs to invite visitors through pre-show promotion. Fortunately, technology is available that not only makes pre-show promotion easy, but that lets exhibitors measure precisely the effectiveness of any campaign.

A pre-show campaign can be measured, for example, by storing all invitees (in the form of a “white list”) on every lead-capture device deployed in the booth. Whenever an invitee on the white list visits the booth, he or she is flagged as a respondent to the pre-show campaign.
To boost lead quantity, the exhibitor also needs to equip its onsite team with lead-management technology that helps them raise the level of visitor engagement and lengthen visitors’ “dwell time” in the booth.

Blending gamification with lead capture and qualification is one way many exhibitors are increasing engagement. 
So that the team’s goal to capture more leads doesn’t conflict with its mandate to focus on sales-ready ones, some exhibitors are also deploying “self-serve” technology that allows visitors to qualify themselves while they explore the booth.

Exhibitors want CRM-compatible leads

Finally, more than ever, executives want to capture leads that are suitable for import into CRM systems.
There’s good reason for this. Best practice shows that an exhibitor’s sales-conversion rate climbs when its tradeshow leads are successfully incorporated into the company’s CRM system.

Two factors determine the exhibitor’s ability to import show leads into a CRM: the harmony between its lead-qualification survey and the data fields in its CRM; and the availability of a “connector” that retrieves the lead data and updates the CRM.

Seem familiar?

If your company is experiencing these trends, it’s smart to consider a custom lead retrieval solution from ITN. With a custom solution, we can help you improve your lead-management process and results significantly.

To learn more, contact Mike Sorgani at