The 10 most important things to keep in mind when asking how to select a lead retrieval system for your event:

  1. Drop The Hardware: Having your exhibitors rent badge scanners is last generation, it’s like paying iPhone price for a Star-Tac. If your lead retreival system doesn’t allow your exhibitors to use their own smartphones (or iPod Touch), both you and your exhibitors are paying to ship around a bunch of hardware. Event managers are the last people we need remind how expensive it is to ship stuff around.
  2. Store the Data in the Cloud: Leads need to be safe and accessible 24/7 by your exhibitors. You’ve seen it before. Somebody can’t get their leads, maybe they broke the scanner, suddenly it’s a rampage. Go rampage-free, data stored and backed up in the cloud, self-service for all exhibitors.
  3. Everyone Can Scan, Not Just the Guy with the Scanner: Another benefit of going smartphone based is that every exhibitor on the team can scan with their phone for one flat price. No extra hassle or expense if your exhibitors want 10 people to be scanning. Set up once, pay once, and go.
  4. Real Time Alerts: Advance functionality that can send text messages or email when specific leads are checked in. Great for your exhibitors, or for you if you have VIPs that need to be at the right place at the right time.
  5. Integration with your Registration System: Even if you are just taking registrations by hand on a spreadsheet, you need to be able to upload these with zero headache. If the system does not integrate with Eventbrite, run away. It’s the most common online registration system and any worthwhile lead retrieval system will have a solid integration.
  6. Low Cost, Zero Hassle Badges: Besides integration on the front end with registration you want it downstream too so that you can print your badges with no headaches. A better lead retrieval system will support whatever you want to do - simple low cost badges, high end VIP backstage pass style badges, and the ability for you to print onsite if required with low cost, dependable printers.
  7. No Paperwork to Get Your Exhibitors on Board: You shouldn’t have to be printing pages to add to your exhibitor handbook. Send them an email with a link and that’s it, simple for them to register, setup and pay. The system also needs to support a la carte or bundle pricing - easy setup if you want all your exhibitors to get lead retrieval as part of sponsorship (eliminating hassle, improving results and reducing cost for everyone) or let every exhibitor decide on their own if they need lead retrieval.
  8. Real Frontline Vendor Support: When your exhibitors have a question they call or email the vendor and get their problem fixed immediately by someone that knows the product inside and out, not somebody in a call center is some other part of the world, not somebody who has to escalate the request to figure out what to do.
  9. Closed Loop System: Once the registration data is in the system, you never have to export or print spreadsheets, word docs or other headaches. It goes beyond lead retrieval and integrates everywhere to fit your requirements without added services or development.
  10. Analytics for You: It’s not just about your exhibitors, a better system will include analytics for you. Perhaps you need check-ins or surveying so you can see which sessions are most popular, or maybe it’s scanning to limit access to certain sessions or parts of the show floor. Again you want smartphone based, easy to use and web access to your data.