Four (4) tips to capture and categorize leads at Tradeshows with High Traffic


Exhibiting at tradeshows can be exhilarating, and exhausting at the same time. Generating demand for your company’s products and services in a tradeshow environment requires energy and creativity to warrant the attention of event attendees. 

“Don’t tell me what you want me to hear. Tell me what I am looking to learn!” 

"Don't waste my time"

Says every event attendee ever.

As an event manager, how can you best capture and categorize the leads and interest your activation and exhibit generates? Validar has been servicing event producers since 2003 and we understand this challenge very well. Here are our 4 tips to consider that’ll help you capture leads with ethical attendee treatment in mind. 

  1. Treat lead capture differently for high traffic activations versus one to one product demos. 

If your event investment includes multiple activations such as an intimate dinner and presentation, breakout session launching a new product, a theater within your exhibit with 15 minute presentations with the goal of driving attendees to meetings and personalized demos, each might require a unique data capture strategy to insure your solution is not intrusive to the attendee experience. Lead capture should be different for your high-traffic activations than your personalized demonstrations and meetings. No matter the strategy each should allow the attendee to control how he or she wants to be treated. 

  1. Customize your Lead Retrieval to categorize leads by where they fall in the sales cycle. 

Not all leads are created equal, and understanding where each prospect stands in the sales cycle is crucial for targeted follow-ups. Capturing this with technology is an art, and should be an extension of the experience and natural conversation with your attendee. More specifically if you are; 

  • Gifting to drive traffic - If you’re giving away a t-shirt or squishy ball as a means to drive traffic and increase lead volume, allow attendees to “opt-out” with a qualifier. Make sure your team is fully trained on the intent behind this qualifier so data is authentic. Branch out with your qualifiers if that attendee has a genuine need that you can address.


  • Tracking theater or session attendance - Allow your audience to opt-in through deployment of dynamic evaluations. This is an excellent way to drive meetings and product demos!
  1. Create a means for attendees to opt-in without engaging in a conversation 

Often attendee may not be interested in engaging in a conversation or sitting through a session, but they see value in your product offering. 

Allow these attendees to opt-in by scanning a QR Code to access a form. Gamify this activity and make sure to ask if they have a genuine interest in your offering, or just want to play the game.  

Opt-in form.png

QR Code Opt-in- example - Capture leads anywhere from anyone! 

  1. Recognize and reward engagement as a means to raise engagement overall!

Gamification can be an excellent means of driving traffic to your activities. With the right lead capture strategy this can be an invaluable investment, provided attendees can control treatment. Recognizing and rewarding product demos, session visit, evaluation completions will increase participation across all touchpoints. 

There is an art to lead capture, and you owe it to your sales team and attendees, to capture leads in this fashion. Treat those that have a need, nurture those that have granted permission, and do so in a personalized fashion based upon their role. More to come on the nurture category in our next post. Click here if you want to learn more.