Event marketing is the best channel for lead generation.

But remember, event attendees are different from qualified leads. The value of event lead generation doesn’t decrease based on the conversion rate. You need to target the right audience for your event and reinvent the event marketing wheel for strengthened brand awareness and new sales opportunities.

So how to generate leads at events? For this, you must first understand what lead generation at events means.

Event lead generation refers to identifying and reaching potential people for a business purpose through an event. It is an approach event marketers use to reach the target audience, engage them, and generate leads for the business.

Here’s why lead generation for businesses through event marketing is essential:

  • Brand visibility
  • Targeted audience engagement
  • Networking opportunities
  • Market insight
  • Partnership & Collaboration opportunities
  • Relationship building
  • Data collection & lead generation
  • Feedback from the audience

Whether planning a trade show, product launch, conference, or virtual event, ensure you attract the right audience to generate positive ROI.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve got you covered with pre-event, on-site, and post-event lead generation steps.

  1. Identifying target audience and objectives 
  2. Designing an attractive event booth or display 
  3. Developing a compelling value proposition 
  4. Creating promotional materials and pre-event marketing strategies
  5. Engaging Attendees with Interactive Activities 
  6. Leveraging Technology for Lead Capture 
  7. Conducting Engaging Presentations and Workshops 
  8. Networking and Relationship Building 
  9. Organizing and Analyzing Collected Leads 
  10. Sending Personalized Follow-Up Emails 
  11. Nurturing Leads through Content Marketing
  12. Tracking and Measuring Lead Generation Success

Pre-Event Preparation

Pre-event preparation is the cornerstone of any successful event. Therefore, you must diligently plan your event and take a moment to contemplate room for growth and enhancement.

1. Identifying target audience and objectives 

To promote your events, you must know about your target audience. It is the first and most crucial step to implementing the right event marketing strategy.

Know who you’re targeting to ensure your event is relevant to them. Also, you must know the difference between the target audience and the target market. If you keep on focusing on a target market, you won’t be able to generate results. But if you narrow it down to a specific target audience to get the most from your strategies.

 Follow these simple tips to define your target audience for the event lead generation:

  • Conduct market research to gain a better understanding of the needs
  • Understand the gain points and pain points of your target market
  • Gather data and narrow down your target audience
  • Develop an attendee persona specific to your event
  • Create and communicate the value proposition

This could also include:

  • Professional background and career
  • Opinions and attitudes
  • Intent
  • Interests and lifestyles

Also, it is essential to understand that different target audiences will respond differently to communication channels. Some might respond better to email campaigns, while others might respond to social media ads.

2. Designing an attractive event booth or display

Capturing their attention is the key to event lead generation.

Thousands of visitors will walk by from the booths in the room, and if you want to make them stop and grab the opportunity, you need to add a wow factor to your event booth design and display.

But do you know how to collect leads at a trade show by designing an attractive event booth? Make it interactive, incorporate touchscreen technology, host giveaways, conduct games, and feature product demos to make attendees interact at your booth.

Consider these tips to make your booth stand out:

  • Bring out creative visuals
  • Maintain brand consistency
  • Allow attendees easy access
  • Leave space for people to move around
  • High-quality promo items
  • Keep your space clutter-free

Also, an events marketing consultant can help you set up a booth and ensure your brand stays on top. A well-thought booth can have attendees talking about your brand during an event after the event is over.

Remember, it’s all about the experience and making it memorable for the audience.

3. Developing a compelling value proposition 

A compelling value proposition will increase event lead generation and lift conversion rates in a world full of shows and events.

Developing a value proposition is an essential part of the guide to event marketing. Let’s explore how value proposition helps you generate leads:

  • Help potential attendees understand your event purpose
  • Help potential attendees differentiate between competitors
  • Increase the lifetime value of potential attendees

But how do you create a compelling value proposition? Creating an attendee persona, positioning in the market, figuring out what clicks your potential attendees, and mapping out their pains and gains.

And at the least, a good value proposition must do the following:

  • Must speak the attendee’s language
  • Must be believable
  • Must be specific
  • Must not be superlative

For example, DevOps Enterprise Summit conveys a clear value proposition, ‘The best place to learn from the DevOps Enterprise community.’

how to collect leads at a trade show

Source: IT Revolution

4. Creating promotional materials and pre-event marketing strategies

Branding your event is essential to make a lasting impression. And for this, you need to create promotional materials relating to event activation ideas. You must develop brand consistency through event themes, communication, and overall event marketing.

Here are some most important marketing materials that you must have for your events:

  • Registration wristbands, tickets, passes
  • Banners and digital displays
  • Brochures and pamphlets
  • Media wall & props
  • Name tags & signs
  • Swag like a t-shirt or bag

Building anticipation and hype about the event are essential pre-event marketing strategies. Here are some great ideas for pre-event marketing strategies:

  • Promotional video – Don’t tell people about your upcoming event; make them visualize it and create a FOMO (fear of missing out). Use existing content and images to create a video about what they can expect from the event.
  • Past event highlights – Showcase big names, speakers, and entertainers from your past event. Their credibility will gain you more sign-ups for the upcoming event.
  • Social proof – Highlighting positive feedback and user-generated content on social media from your part event adds value to your event marketing strategy.
  • Social media – Remain consistent with your hashtags and post on different platforms.
  • Podcasts can help boost event awareness, build anticipation, and entice more people to take the desired action.
  • Email marketing – Don’t overlook email marketing; it can help you generate events, generate leads, and reach more people.
  • Localize your event – Don’t forget the power of event marketing localization. Many people search for events with city/area keywords like Tech Summit in Seattle or Web Summit in Europe.

On-Site Lead Generation Strategies 

Whether you are marketing for an on-site conference, seminar, product launch, or trade show lead generation ideas, you need to have a plan for lead generation. On-site lead generation strategies help you attract attendees and deliver a positive experience that one can’t forget.

5. Engaging Attendees with Interactive Activities 

Engaging attendees at an event can be challenging. But you can engage attendees with interactive activities that appeal on an emotional level and allow them to associate.

Also, create multi-touch campaigns and presentations that resonate with your audience and leverage technology at your event.

Here are some fantastic ways to have fun with your audience and engage them at the event for lead generation:

  • Interactive games
  • Digital graffiti wall
  • Throwable mics
  • Photo props
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Responsive and interactive flooring
  • Virtual reality & augmented reality
  • Metaverse & AI

Having said that, enhancing the user experience through interactive and engaging activities can get the crowd involved and help you generate more leads.

For example, the CEO of the Toptal company interacted with the attendees at the event Web Summit. This helped to create interest among the attendees, who were diverted to the booth to hear insights from the CEO.

collecting leads at events

Source: Toptal

6. Leveraging Technology for Lead Capture 

When it comes to generating qualified leads, it comes down to the attendee sales funnel journey. You can set yourself apart if you’re responsive and can integrate technology at your event.

But do you know how to generate leads at events by leveraging technology for lead generation? Follow these tips:

  • Augmented and virtual reality
  • Live streaming
  • Contactless check-ins
  • Event gamification
  • Wearable technology
  • Mobile event app

A more engaging, immersive, and accessible event experience with technology integration can help you promote virtual events, hybrid, and in-person events to the fullest and get the most qualified leads.

For example, below is an image from the National Technology Day event where the attendees feel the 3D immersive class and AR-VR experience.

event lead generation ideas

Source: Techxrinnovations

7.     Conducting Engaging Presentations and Workshops 

An interactive presentation and engaging workshop can help in trade show lead generation. Attendees are more likely to feel fully involved and interested in the event.

Follow these guidelines for your next upcoming event:

  • Plan from the audience’s perspective
  • Use an easy-to-follow structure
  • Ask questions during the presentation
  • Use storytelling
  • Add short videos to your presentation
  • Poll the audience

Involving your audience is the most crucial part of your event, and your energy should communicate effectively.

8.     Networking and Relationship Building 

Events can be a great place to build relationships to generate leads. Networking is a great way to expand your reach, increase visibility, connect with potential attendees, and find new opportunities for sales.

Here are some tips for networking and relationship building at your event for lead generation:

  • Listen more than you talk – Ask questions, show interest, and allow others to share their thoughts.
  • Find common ground – Build a rapport, establish a connection, and connect on common ground.
  • Be authentic – Let your event purpose be clear, and try not to pretend to be an expert in an area where you’re not.
  • Follow up – Ensure you connect with the prospects after the event and follow up through email or call.

Post-Event Follow-Up 

It’s not over yet. Your event might be over, but you still haven’t survived. Sounds weird, right?

Post-event follow-ups are the most important part that nurtures your leads down the funnel. After all, you want to get the most out of your event and accomplish your goals.

9. Organizing and Analyzing Collected Leads 

It’s time to leverage your event data.

You’re done with the event and need to collect leads. It will help you discover insights into your attendees and how valuable your event was for them.

Here are some tips for gathering and assessing the date post-event:

  • Event registration software can provide detailed data about the event attendees, including name, email address, and location.
  • Analytics tracking can provide insight into the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, engagement, and interaction derived.
  • Check-in systems can allow you to gather attendee details, such as purchases, intentions, and interests, and see forms answered.
  • Post-event surveys with open-ended and close-ended questions can give in-depth insight into attendee experience, satisfaction, and feedback.

Organizing essential attendee data and information can improve your upcoming events and convert leads into sales.

10. Sending Personalized Follow-Up Emails 

The simplest way to interact with the attendees is through a follow-up email. A personalized thank you email for their time and consideration of the event goes a long way. It’s an excellent chance to reconnect with them and follow up while the momentum continues.

Emails are the most important part of an event marketing checklist, and you’ll be surprised how far this tiny gesture goes.

Here’s why it is important to send personalized follow-up emails:

  • Building relationships
  • Gathering feedback
  • Encouraging repeat attendance
  • Maintaining a positive image
  • Keeping the conversation going
  • Measuring the success

But you must plan everything before the event, as last-minute emails can be chaotic and unorganized. Draft it beforehand to save time. Plan out the time and schedule emails to be sent out after the event, create a structure for your email to highlight key takeaways and experiences, and think about your call to action, as it is the most important part of your follow-up email.

11. Nurturing Leads through Content Marketing 

Events content marketing helps you nurture leads that convert.

Nurturing leads through content marketing directly impacts your attendee’s decisions and can convert them into paying customers. You can opt for multi-channel nurturing, multiple touches, or personalized messages.

No matter what type of event you’ve organized and conducted, here are six excellent lead-nurturing tactics through content marketing:

  • Profile your leads and narrow them down to have a higher conversion rate
  • Choose the right channel where your attendees engage the most
  • Data-backed content pieces to add credibility
  • Create easily consumable content such as infographics, visuals, and videos
  • Get the right content at the right stage of the sales funnel
  • Share content that speaks louder without any human intervention

Every piece of content that you create for your event will return value to your business. Nurturing leads is a continuous process that adds value to your events and helps you achieve business goals. It is not a complicated process; it requires some insightful planning and approach.

12. Tracking and Measuring Lead Generation Success

Keep a close eye on leads and conversions from the beginning of your event because post-event success can only be achieved when you start planning pre-event strategies.

You must know and define ways to increase your event’s marketing ROI performance. Understanding which key performance indicator (KPI) is essential for your event lead generation success makes a difference.

Below we’ve listed the most effective ways to track and measure lead generation success:

  • Attendance rate
  • Engagement rate
  • Lead generation
  • Social media engagement
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Landing page conversion rate
  • Bounce rate
  • ROI

Map out your lead generation process and pinpoint areas to focus on to get the best leads from your event. Once you master event planning, you’ll get the strategies in place.

How to generate leads at events – FAQs

What are the best interactive activities to engage event attendees?

The eight best interactive activities to engage event attendees include:

  1. Media wall and photo booths
  2. Event gamification
  3. Virtual reality experiences
  4. Hands-on product demos
  5. DIY stations
  6. Networking sessions
  7. Live entertainment and keynote address
  8. Interactive display and exhibits

What is the best approach to collecting contact information from attendees?

Some of the best approaches to collecting contact information from attendees include:

  • Digital registration forms
  • QR code scanning
  • Mobile event app
  • On-site kiosks
  • Raffle or giveaway entries
  • Badge or name tag scanning
  • Interactive touchpoints
  • Email sign-ups stations

What follow-up strategies work best for nurturing leads after the event?

Follow-up strategies that work best for nurturing leads after the event include:

  1. Personalized follow-up emails
  2. Thank you emails
  3. Social media engagement
  4. Special discounts or offers
  5. Personalized outreach through calls
  6. Follow-up webinars
  7. Targeted ads or retargeting
  8. Case Studies & success stories
  9. Newsletters

Final Words

Events lead generation is the most critical task for any business as they want to maximize ROI and increase conversion rates. Events can help you generate many leads quickly, as they are most effective in driving engagement and interaction.

You need to lay the groundwork, map out the strategy and keep your eyes on the goal to watch the event succeed.  With the proper execution of design at every stage of the event and sales funnel, you can take your event lead generation to the next level.