Live leads in the industry

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How did Circdata get involved in events? It all started about fifteen years ago when our core business was helping major publishers to make sense of their readership data. At the time, publishers were under pressure to create new revenue streams, and with already established audiences, it was only natural for many to turn to events. As they transitioned into the events sector, so did we.What experience were you able to bring to events? As a technology-led company, we are constantly looking three to five years ahead for the next trend or disruptive technology that can help us to deliver improved customer journeys. That disruption came five years ago in the form of the iPad. We knew that a device with the iPad’s functionality would ultimately help us to deliver an improved event experience. It took a few incarnations of the iPad, improvements in its performance and especially camera capabilities, but we eventually developed the LiveLeads app – a sea change in the ability of an exhibitor to capture, manipulate and action the contact information they receive at an event.Capturing contact information – isn’t that what barcode scanners are for? A barcode scanner is a trusted technology that is easy to use and can capture some basic additional demographic data via a printed product sheet – but that is the extent of its capabilities. If you factor in a delay to receiving the contact data – often 24 hours after the event has ended – the limitations of using a scanner really start to show. The LiveLeads app represents an evolution in event data capture; combining the latest developments in tablet and smartphone technology, with a powerful app. Available to download free from the App Store or Google Play to any modern iOS or Android device, LiveLeads turns an exhibitor’s own mobile device into a powerful lead capture tool. Access to the app is controlled via a paid licence.An exhibitor’s smartphone becomes a lead capture device? Exactly. Whether an exhibitor prefers to use their tablet or smartphone, the LiveLeads app enables them to use a device they are already familiar with to capture the contact details of visitors to their stand during an event. The app uses the camera on the device to scan the encrypted QR code on a visitor’s badge – much like scanning a barcode, but without the added hassle of hiring and returning any equipment. This is part of a recent technological trend we are seeing that encourages users to ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD). Each exhibitor using the app is provided with their own secure personalised microsite. When an exhibitor scans the QR code on a visitor’s badge, LiveLeads uses Wi-Fi to sync the contact data in real-time to their exhibitor microsite. Access to the lead data is immediate, allowing the exhibitor at the show, or a colleague back at their office, to act on it without delay. The result is that an exhibitor could easily be in a position to send a tailored sales presentation to a new contact within hours of their initial meeting. The app works off-line too, meaning that if an exhibitor scans a badge without an internet connection, it will store the information, and sync with the microsite once a Wi-Fi connection has been re-established.Real-time data capture could be extremely useful to exhibitors, but what else can it do? For many exhibitors, the basic demographic information provided through a barcode scanner offers no real insight into what their customers really want. Exhibitors now require the ability to capture in-depth behavioural data during an event which can be easily fed into their overall sales and marketing strategy. LiveLeads includes a powerful survey tool allowing exhibitors, through their microsite, to create unlimited bespoke single or multiple-choice questions to ask their stand visitors. Questions can be created in advance or at an event, and are instantly available via the app. The captured survey data syncs in real-time to the microsite together with the contact information. How do you see events changing in the future? Advances like the LiveLeads app are already contributing to a changing event environment, making what happens on the show floor actionable in real-time, increasing valuable face-to-face time and reducing post-event administration. For us, it is about using advances in technology to support the best use of data to create better customer journeys. In the future, we will see much greater demand for good quality behavioural data and an ever-increasing focus on mobile-first strategies.   This article was first published in the March issue of EN. Any comments? Email Annie Byrne
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