Overview: Tools to capture leads at events and trade shows

Trade shows and events are multifaceted marketing instruments. When implemented properly, they can

  • boost company awareness
  • serve multiple PR purposes
  • form an important part in recruitment strategies and
  • allow benchmarking with competitors.

The importance of selling directly at shows has been declining, however, generating sales leads at trade shows ranks highest for most of the exhibiting companies.

Ultimately, it is the crucial success factor for organizers: Your show is sustainably successful when this criterion is fulfulled – facilitating lead generation via techical tools can be one way to achieve that objective!

Particularly small and medium-sized companies anf first-time exhibitors don’t seem to pay enough attention to the process of retrieving and managing leads at such events and, thus, don’t get the maximum impact from their participation.

In the old days, lead capture was done on sheets of paper with some notes and a business card stapled to it.

Not bad, but, hey!, we can do a lot better nowadays, can’t we?

In an ideal world, the lead capture and follow-up process by exhibitors is closely linked to the activities of the show organizer – before (pre-show marketing), during (e.g. badge scanning) and after the event.

That’s where technology comes in. I have endeavoured to present some of the available services in this post. Some come more from the organizers perspective, others focus on the needs of the exhibitors, some combine both views. I am sure there are more out there, so please feel free to comment and add services.

What are the most important criteria for an organizer when selecting the right lead management tool to provide to your exhitibitors?

  • Simple interfaces to visitor registration, CRM and exhibitor databases (if not fully integrated anyway)
  • Monetisation: To what extent can you turn this service into a business model?
  • Data protection: Is the process of lead capture and management bullet-proof from a data protection point-of-view?
  • Usability: Sleek, easy-to-use front-end both for visitors and exhibitors.

What do exhibitors look for when qualifying sales leads?

  • Can the software be fully integrated into CRM tools like Salesforce, SAP or others.
  • Is the lead form customizable in terms of fields, contact details, priority, sales potential etc.
  • Does the tool offer automatic follow-up procedures, like setting reminders, sending follow-up emails?
  • Can you use it to present sales material and other digital assets like product videos? Some integrated solutions offer this A-Z approach.

Here are some technology providers, listed in alphabetic order by company name:

Bartizan Connects: iLeads

iLeads is a mobile badge scanner with lead qualification tools, so it connects to the registration data of the show organizer.

ExpoBee: Industry Tracker

…is a little bit different, in the sense that it looks at the process from a vistor perspective, providing a personalized news platform. It allows the trade show visitors to connect with relevant vendors, and the vendors in return to get in touch with the prospects.

G2Planet: Event Lead Generation and Management

Used by Hyundai to collect leads at consumer car shows, the solution from G2Planet can gather data from any type of attendee badge and can be used in trade show as well as sports or culture events environments.

iCapture Leads

The tool from iCapture offers marketing automation and can be integrated into most of the leading CRM systems. It works on iPads as well as in kiosk mode.


I have featured this solution in a recent blog article already. The guys from insinno all have a background in sales and sales process design, so they put a special focus on the presentation part at exhibitions, combined with a structured follow-up process.


A service by a company based in Czech Republic that combines various apps in one, like exhibitor and product directory, attendee mobile app and lead retrieval system. Just about to be launched, so no video available yet, but worth checking out and keeping an eye on.

n200: Visit connect

The company from the Netherlands offers a combined bar code scanning tool (either smartphone-based or with scanning devices on a rental basis) with lead capture and management tools.

NewLeads: Trade Show Leads Solutions

The solutions for iPads come with a language conversion tool, so that you can easily support multiple international trade show participations with just one interface.


A lead retrieval and lead capture app for trade shows and events that will work offline, too, and comes with subscription pricing starting at $19 per month. There is also a free forever plan available to all. 

Willwork Lead Capture

Offers a platform for customer dialogue at the trade show, with e-literature mailing functionalities and a special focus on reporting.

XING Events

XING is the leading social business network in Austria – Germany – Switzerland. With its purchase of amiando, a provider of event and ticketing solutions, XING has combined its social network with event technology. XING events is not really a lead capturing software, but due to its full integration in the events management workflow, I’d like to list it here. You can see who’ll be coming to an event, you get recommendations who to meet based on the user profile.

Zoho CRM: Leads App

Using the Leads App, you can scan barcodes or business cards and assign lead owners right from the show floor to manage follow-up processes. Zoho is basically a CRM software, and the Leads app is fully integrated.

Zuant: Mobile Lead Capture

Ticks a lot of boxes: works offline, integrates with Salesforce, has a media viewer to present files and attach them to follow-up emails, and comes with a badge scanner.

Who would you add to this list? Look forward to your comments, experiences and reports!

26 thoughts on “Overview: Tools to capture leads at events and trade shows

  1. Hello Michael, I would want to suggest adding this solution : Scan2Lead. It’s a pure lead retrieval solution available as a IOS or Android app, but also serviced as a rental solution with handheld mini scanners or a combination of a laptop and pistol scanner. It will handle all types of 1D or 2D barcodes and allows for scanning business cards that are processed through a state-of-the-art OCR server. All scanned data is immediatly available in an online secured portal for instant lead follow-up. Visit http://www.scan2lead.com for more information. The service is supported onsite and used frequently on international shows in Messe Düsseldorf and Messe München, to the delight of thousands of exhibitors.


  2. In the market for lead collection system where we can collect leads from a business card and do some qualifying. Then control how it is retrieved, stored and managed. There are a lot events sales attends where the show organizers are not using badges where attendee information is scanned. So exhibitors has to come prepared with their own system of lead collection and retrieval.


  3. Nice article, Michael. Some good services listed above.

    The codeREADr app is an alternative for event executives who don’t want to use lead retrieval services branded by other companies. It’s an enterprise-grade app for iOS and Android devices with integrated web services. Since 2009 the app’s been branded and/or white labelled by ticketing companies, event organizers, event registration companies and lead retrieval service providers. [Disclosure: I am the Biz Dev person at codeREADr.]


  4. It is essential for exhibitors to collect leads digitally to avoid having to transfer them the following week. There are a few tools out there that provide that.
    http://www.myfairtool.com is a great one as it not only allows exhibitors to collect prospects information but also to send instantaneous follow-up emails with products details, thank you notes, pricing and so on.
    Definitely a great tool for trade shows & exhibitions to add to this list!


  5. Vital to manage your Trade Show before, during and after, closing the loop and building relationships through to the next one. Dazzletoday ( http://dazzletoday.io ) offers you features to excite, engage and persuade prospects and leads all through.


  6. Hi Guys,
    Greet Information about Lead Capture tools, There is a tool called HelloLeadz where you can take picture of business card and interest of the visitor. The business card information will be transcribed within few hours by persons and you can view all the lead information on web app also you can download the lead details in CSV or Excel file and upload it into your CRM.
    HelloLeadz Saves you time in exhibition and you dont have to worry about data capture and you can focus on getting more customers.
    Interested visit http://www.helloleadz.com


  7. We visit a lot of trade shows and manage our leads through a software called Sanity OS. I think its a very valid point to discuss ways of improving recording lead info at trade shows but you have to be careful these days and ensure you don’t end up with more tools than you need. Some trade shows provide visitors with a barcode on their passes so that traders can scan their details.

    I would recommend using a lead management software like sanity OS as you can create forms for inbound leads and pretty much manage everything else sales related under the same umbrella. https://sanityos.com/lead-management

    I hope that helps


  8. Great list, guys. We’ve taken some inspiration from these guys when designing our own tool. Especially Zuant — seriously, go and check it out, it’s beautiful.

    We’ve thought long and hard about the process of capturing B2B leads at events, and we’ve spoken to a ton of industry pros. From our research, most exhibitors fall into one of two camps.

    On the one hand, you have teams who prioritise scanning as many badges as possible. And some can be pretty strategic about it too, estimating how many potential prospects will attend and then creating goals for what percentage they want to scan. On the backend, they often use lead scoring techniques to filter the best leads up to their sales guys. They’re all about volume, and it works for them. iCapture has a bunch of case studies showing companies doing this successfully.

    On the other hand, you have exhibitors who need more than a badge scan. With long sales cycles and a need to uncover insights that can help their team sell to multiple stakeholders further down the line, these guys aren’t solely driven by volume. Perhaps they already have a pretty comprehensive database of prospects in their industry, and so “new leads” are a rarity for them. Sure, they still want to capture lots of leads, but they’re also motivated to capture insights which can help push prospects down the sales funnel.

    We’ve developed Captuvate (http://www.captuvate.com/) for this second group. If your sales team need more than a spreadsheet full of names and numbers to call after your trade show, then check us out using the link above. Our app lets you schedule appointments for sales guys while on the event-floor. Even if your sales team aren’t all at the event, you can book prospects into their calendar so the prospects don’t go AWOL after the event. We’ve also included a feature to add voice notes to any lead, so that you don’t have to spend a ton of time writing down why the prospects is of interest. Just tap a button and talk into the app, and — with our Salesforce integration — your team can be listening to your notes within seconds.

    Speaking of Salesforce, the way we’ve integrated means that if you meet a prospect who you already ‘know about’, you can append that information to their contact record instead of creating a new lead. Why is this useful? Suddenly, you’re not only able to take credit for sales that are generated from your leads, but you can also show how your events influenced prospects who were already in the pipeline. If you can show that you spoke with a dozen existing prospects (and have the voice memos to prove it), then they closed business with you a few weeks later, that’s awesome. Few marketers have worked out how to prove the influence their events have on existing opportunities, so we think this is a step in the right direction.

    Apologies for the shameless plug. We just feel there’s a lot more companies can do to boost event ROI if they take these things into account. If you’re interested in learning more, let me know!



  9. Thanks for sharing the great tools, It was really a wonderful article and I was really impressed by reading this blog. Lead Retrieval App is also one of the best tool for Trade shows, It helps exhibitors to scan the QR Codes printed on the attendee badges to collect and store leads right on their mobile devices and an online portal. It have integration done with Salesforce CRM where the leads get sync with the click of a button. It increases exhibitors ROI and help them generate more quality leads. Check out here http://www.leadretrievalapps.com


  10. Thanks for sharing the great Article, Was hoping you would consider featuring Eventdex Lead Retrieval App the next time you write up a similar post. Eventdex Lead Retrieval App helps exhibitors to scan the QR Codes printed on the attendee badges to collect and store leads right on their mobile devices and an online portal. It has integration done with Salesforce CRM where the leads get sync with the click of a button. It increases exhibitors ROI and helps them generate more quality leads. Do check us out if you have a minute: http://bit.ly/2PaKEGG


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s