Archive for February, 2011
When used together, Smartphones, iPads and Radio Frequency Identification Tags (RFID) create an “environment” that provides meeting planners and corporate sales staff with the opportunity to deeply understand the attendee experience. The business intelligence gleaned from analyzing how attendees navigate the meeting, interact with meeting content, engage corporate sales representatives, and rate meeting features can transform conferences, sales meetings, and user group experiences into high-level tools for achieving meeting and organizational objectives.
Mobile phones are the new navigational tools for meetings and conferences. The new event-centric apps provide users with maps and floor plans, conference agendas, meeting-setting capabilities, and access to social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. By providing conference attendees with access to these valuable tools through smartphones, meeting planners open the door to rich metrics about which programming and topics attendees are interested in, what content they download, how they rate sessions and speakers, and how they use mobile tools to navigate the meeting.
Mobile tablets including iPads are fast becoming the data collection devices of choice at corporate meetings and conferences. Sales representatives are using these appliances to engage in consultative dialogues with attendees in order to build rich profiles on their needs, preferences, and buying cycles. Some meeting planners have begun distributing iPads to broaden the attendees’ conference experience, communicate vital information, and provide important content. In both cases, the tablets are being used to collect critical business intelligence for real-time and post-event analysis.
RFID tags attached to attendee badges are independent of the data collection processes that require human interaction. They passively collect and relay data on attendees—what programming features they interact with, what sessions they attend, what amounts of time they spend in various locations. Planners and sales associates can act upon the information that is collected to make real-time changes in the event program—adjust room sizes for popular repeat sessions and redirect traffic flow to reduce a bottleneck—or provide attendees with relevant content such as brochures, white papers, and emails on specific products or services.
Intelligent meetings and conferences utilize built-in data collection and measurement processes to yield important analytics and prove meeting effectiveness. They funnel information from different collection points—Smartphones, iPads, RFID tags—into a central database to create a fuller picture of attendee preferences and post-conference intent. Intelligent meetings save money, reduce waste, and provide valuable insight.
The following is a guest blog post from Alliance Tech’s CEO, Art Borrego:
Exhibitors and corporate event planners understand the concept of lead retrieval. With the plethora of lead retrieval devices including our own Alliance Tech offerings, the collection of leads from events has become commonplace and fairly effortless. However, a breakdown occurs for some in the lead follow-up process. Sophisticated tools and consistent, targeted outreach is the key to sales conversion. Here are some thoughts on how to engage in intelligent lead follow-up to nurture the sale.
Understand where customers are in the decision process.
Use your lead capture responses, demographics and visit behavior to pinpoint where your customers and prospects are in the purchasing process and tailor your follow-up activities to match. You know what to do with those who are ready to buy. For those who are only evaluating your solution, provide them with information, content, and follow-up (white papers, Webinars) that helps them move from evaluation to consideration.
Use post-show follow-up to further qualify your at-show/meeting leads.
Qualification doesn’t end at the event. Post-event emails with links to various opportunities to learn (different product sets), try (request a demo), or buy (talk to a live sales person) provide rich data on where your prospects’ preferences are leaning. This outreach can be done all year long to covert the mildly interested to buyers.
Use multiple channels to further the post-event dialog
Emails and telephone calls aren’t the only methods for following up with customers and prospects after an event. Sophisticated marketing automation tools integrate digital, social, and traditional marketing channels to nurture leads by creating a continuing dialog with attendees.
Move lead scoring and prioritization beyond “Cold,” “Warm,” and “Hot.”
Use all of the data at your disposal before, during, and after the event—attendee booth visit behavior, presentations attended, product inquiries, attendee profiles, survey responses, post-event business intelligence and marketing automation tools to deduce buying potential and prioritize leads using empirical data and more advanced computer-generated algorithms.
In the future, lead retrieval will not end at the close of the event. At-show activity will flow seamlessly from marketing to sales and from the event floor into the CRM tool for opportunities ready for sales to contact, or an automated nurturing process. Smart exhibitors and event planners will act strategically by using intelligent lead follow-up strategies and tools to nurture the sale.