by F. Andrew Taylor
If you’re serious about your leads, you know that there are many more efficient ways of gathering them than swapping little bits of paper or having someone sign a mailing list, although these tried and tru-ish methods still exist, most companies and conventions are making heavy use of lead retrieval data from badge scans.
LeadPod Pro, by Expo Logic, is one of the more widely-used lead apps. It is free to download but does require a license key to access attendee data and it will only work at events where Expo Logic is contracted to provide lead retrieval services. Exhibitors just scan the attendee’s badge using your device’s camera and it collects their contact.
From there, you can take notes on your interaction with the attendee, save the information as a contact on your phone. You can also follow up with the contact, via phone or email, directly from the app. It is not an inexpensive app but it is one of the industry standards for a reason.
ICapture is another lead retrieval app. It’s less expensive but still an investment rather than a whim. With prices starting at $79 per month, per user, you aren’t going to be budgeting it in the same category as the advanced levels of Angry Birds. It’s more along the lines budget-wise of your business and word processing software.
It scans, logs and allows you to sort leads into categories. It can sync with many standard CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems. It is initially survey software which includes badge and business card scanning and data collection. It also allows lead qualification and nurturing.
For the more cost-conscious event planner, there is AtEvent, which offers a free version and a free trial, but there is, of course, a more professional version with more bells and whistles for those willing to put a little more money towards the issue.
Like the other two, you can scan badges or business cards into the system and have it spit out data on the other side, including real time stats during the event. It offers multilingual business card transcription and audit logs. Also, like the other two, it offers online training, webinars support during business hours and more to guide you and your staff through the operation of the system.
AtEvent is available for Android, iPhone and iPad and allows you to improve your event marketing strategies with analytics.
These are just three of scores of similar products and you may find that another app is more suited to your specific needs and interconnectivity issues. All of these lead retrieval apps are locked in a race to provide more analytics, ease of use and interconnectivity with both devices and other business software. This is a case where competition will inevitably lead to better and more refined apps, so everyone will benefit. Except the apps that don’t adapt and improve.
So far, Vegas isn’t offering odds on which one will come out on top and which ones will spiral into the dust, so you may have to start an office pool if you want in on that action.
Andrew Taylor has been in the journalism field for 23 years working for alt-weeklies, tourism publications, hyper-local papers and others. He is the illustrator for “Christmapus,” the tale of the Christmas Octopus. His first fiction prose story was published in 2018 and was featured at the Vegas Valley Book Fair. He also works in film production, does local historical research and has been an amateur stunt driver and rodeo participant. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story originally appeared in the July/August issue of Exhibit City News, p. 14. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_july-august_2020