Next-Level Lead Cultivation: Using Meaningful Data to Find the Best Leads

Next-Level Lead Cultivation: Using Meaningful Data to Find the Best Leads | MCI United States | EN

June, 22 2022

By Kaitlin Dunn

Generating leads is one of the most valuable practices for businesses at a trade show or conference. Exhibitors attend these events with the goal of finding valuable potential customers, making connections and, ultimately, creating new business relationships. In order to do that, exhibitors may purchase lead retrieval services, which involve scanning the badge of each attendee who visits an exhibitor and giving the exhibitor a list of people who visited them, along with basic contact information, at the end of the event. Yet it’s not good enough to just capture basic data on attendees. What is more important is analyzing the data to nurture the best leads and drive results, which is the process of lead cultivation.

According to James Kelley, VP of registration and lead cultivation for MCI USA’s Strategic Events, Meetings & Incentives (SEM&I) business unit, giving companies better, richer data on who is visiting their booth is critical. Instead of companies simply receiving contact information from potentially hundreds or thousands of leads who stopped by their booth, MCI USA’s lead cultivation process helps narrow down the field to the ones who are most likely to be beneficial for that company. They don’t know the value of the lead until they have more data on that person, which is where the lead cultivation process comes into play.

MCI USA’s lead cultivation process uses multiple data points to categorize attendees and rank them for the exhibitor, making it easier for them to follow up with the best possible leads and saving them time and effort. MCI surveys exhibitors and attendees prior to the event to find out what they are looking for and uses that information, along with demographics and the sessions the attendee goes to, to score them for each exhibitor. Kelley says that typically only around 40% of exhibitors follow up on their leads, something that this more in-depth type of lead cultivation could change.

“Exhibitors spend money to come to an event and to purchase the lead cultivation service, and then many of them don’t follow up,” he says. “I believe this number would be higher if they received more meaningful data. Usually, lead retrieval data is the same information you can find on LinkedIn or on a business card, so receiving that meaningful data can help with successful lead follow up.”

The lead cultivation process takes the information on how attendees are interacting with exhibitors and what presentations they are choosing to attend and groups them into personas that exhibitors have determined that they are interested in targeting, so then exhibitors can use the information to attract and contact the most relevant leads and sell their product or service more easily.

Once the exhibitor has the lead cultivation data, they can follow up with the most meaningful leads, saving them time and potential expense of either analyzing the data themselves to determine the most likely leads or contacting every person who had stopped by their booth. If exhibitors can save time and money and still make those valuable contacts, then it makes that event and the lead cultivation service much more valuable to them.

“[We work] with show organizers to match product-and-service interest questions asked during the registration process with questions that exhibitors are asked when building their event listing — this is key to driving meaningful data for exhibitors,” Kelley says. “We can drive a much higher ROI by then taking the captured leads and scoring them for each exhibitor and sending post-event follow up.”

Overall, the process of lead cultivation could be a game-changer for many exhibitors, as it helps them use their time and resources more wisely when it comes to following up with reliable leads and attending events that give them the best leads to choose from.

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Kaitlin Dunn

Master of all things content, Kaitlin has served as MCI USA's copywriter since April of 2019.



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