Optimizing Marketing Automation: The Power Of Lead Skimming At Tradeshows

We are very fortunate to work with intelligent B2B event marketers every day and we’ve learned a ton. This post discusses one topic that we often see as an opportunity for improvement specific to leveraging Marketing Automation when dealing with event data: The power of lead skimming at tradeshows.

Marketing Automation has proven to effectively score leads based on implicit and explicit responses to digital content. The value is exponentially different though when dealing with event data. Here are some tips to consider when treating event data with your marketing stack during and post event when exhibiting at a trade show. 

Validar often serves exhibitors at large tradeshows with custom lead retrieval. On one occasion, a sales leader asked us where their leads would be going post-event. His concern was that all leads would be uploaded into their Eloqua platform for nurturing. When this happens, they often have to wait 5 to 6 weeks before a lead is distributed. He wanted his leads now, which is a value our lead retrieval solution can deliver. 

At this event, Validar categorized leads by value with Marketing Automation in mind. We were also skimming leads off the top to bypass their marketing stack if that lead is defined as “sales-eady”. 

What is skimming? Skimming is, identifying where buyers are in their buying cycle by asking relevant questions when in dialog. When identified as “sales ready” they are skimmed off the top, bypassing Marketing Automation and going direct to Sales. 

Essentially, we front-end every scan with a qualifier that allows each attendee to control how he or she would like to be treated. It is very important that your booth staff capture genuine sentiment.


If an attendee expresses interest in your products and services, we then branch out to further qualify their needs for presentation to sales for follow-up.


Leads were categories in Hot, Warm, and Cold categories for treatment by Sales and their Marketing Stack. Those leads that expressed interest bypassed Marketing Automation and were passed to Sales. 

 Prior to this, all leads were captured by a simple scan, and then processed within their Marketing Stack. When incubating leads it may take 6 to 8 weeks to find out which leads are “sales-ready” versus “trinket seekers” simply because Marketing Automation bases its score on implicit and explicit activity. When following up directly which many companies do, it may take 4 to 6 touches in order to capture that person’s attention again. This can be especially frustrating to sales when they find out 5 touches later that this lead was generated due to a raffle at an event.

The economic benefits of skimming can be tremendous for several reasons.

  1. You no longer are paying a salesperson to call non “sales-ready” leads. 
  2. You can avoid lead decay by treating “sales-ready” leads appropriately and right away. 

If done well, your pipeline impact will increase tremendously! Reach out if you would like to learn more