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The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) represents and promotes U.S.-based manufacturing technology and its members—those who design, build, sell, and service the continuously evolving technology that lies at the heart of manufacturing. AMT’s signature event, International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) is a biennial, six-day event that takes place in September at McCormick Place in Chicago. This show draws more than 115,000 attendees, 2,400 exhibitors, and covers 1.37 million square feet of exhibition hall space.
Exhibiting companies not only need a constant stream of leads for marketing and sales opportunities to validate the cost of exhibiting, but they also need to qualify their leads during the show and immediately follow up to convert leads into sales. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, industry research indicates that 65 percent of companies do not nurture leads. Companies that nurture leads, however, have 47% higher profit margins than companies that do not. This means prospects put value on a quick response, not on lowest price. Immediate follow-up is a critical component of managing leads received during a show.
Convention Data Services provided IMTS exhibitors with the CDS XPress Leads suite of lead retrieval and lead management products, along with complete support and service both pre-event and onsite. AMT reported the highest number of exhibiting companies for 2016 in the show’s history. CDS and AMT worked together to offer exhibitors a full lead retrieval package with an updated look and feel. The CDS exhibitor services team, along with AMT, also created a complete education and service package for exhibitors with webinars and in-booth trainings to help them take advantage of the lead retrieval equipment features.
The most valuable lead retrieval features for exhibitors are:
- Customized Qualifiers: Exhibitors developed customized qualifiers before the show to help segment and create actionable data for personalized follow-up. During and after the show, exhibitors accessed the CDS exhibitor portal to download and analyze their leads.
- Key Visitor Alerts: Exhibitors uploaded a list of VIP visitors and were alerted within the lead retrieval app when any VIP visitors were in the booth.
- Instant Follow-Up: Converting leads into sales depends on the ability to immediately follow-up. Exhibitors created a customized email template within the lead retrieval app to easily and quickly follow up with leads during and after the show.
Exhibitor Success Story: Royal Master Grinders
Royal Master Grinders, an IMTS exhibitor since 1968, manufactures a wide variety of machine models to meet the needs of a diverse range of applications. Thousands of Royal Master Grinders around the world produce guide wires, catheters, automotive components, punches, carbide cutting tools, and much more. During the show, Royal Master Grinders used the CDS XPress Connect app on iPads in the booth. The customized qualifiers and instant follow up enabled the team to have a successful and productive event.
Customized Qualifiers: John Memmelaar, Jr., Vice President of Royal Master Grinders, created ten customized qualifying questions in the CDS lead retrieval app. Questions were developed and responses tracked on the CDS dashboard in the qualifiers summary report. He identified trends as well as strategies that worked or needed improvement. Any changes could be made instantly in the booth by simply updating the app.
Key Visitor Alert: Before the show, Royal Masters Grinders identified VIP attendees. During the show, if any of the VIPs entered the booth, staff was alerted by the app. Having this set up in advance eliminated the chance onsite sales staff would miss an opportunity to connect with targeted prospects.
Instant Follow-up: Having qualifying questions allowed the Royal Master Grinders sales team to determine each customer’s needs and follow up immediately. An email template was created that included a contact person and link to a virtual booth. Follow up emails were sent to customers and received within seconds, many times while they were still in the booth—allowing information to be shared with their staff not in attendance. The team also used the app’s reporting feature in the exhibitor portal to view, search, and filter leads in order to track and personalize follow up.
Additionally, reports were created containing information on device usage as well as number of leads scanned per hour and day. This was helpful to staff the booth properly during peak times.
Best Practice – Lead of the Day Meeting
After the show closed each day, the staff met to review their leads from that day. Each person was responsible for presenting one lead that stood out as a potential sale. The team then reviewed and discussed each lead using the survey and notes that were entered during the qualification process and assigned the lead to the appropriate engineer for follow-up.