Moving Beyond the Fish Bowl; Tracking Show Leads Digitally

Let us go back in Trade Show history, circa any time before “modern technology” (apps, Facebook, and e-ticketing). Businesses participating in a Trade Show are eager to shake hands, meet new people, and ultimately collect new leads for their business. How did they do this? What do we do now that’s so different? Great questions …

The Fish Bowl

The fish bowl- not just a house for the family gold fish! For Trade Shows, and the companies that attend them, they have a completely different application. In the years previous to the amazing technological advancements we have now, the fish bowl was used to collect business cards; whether they be for raffles, giveaways, or just plain data collection.

The trade show game is drastically changing however!  Today we are going to talk about some alternative methods of “Receiving and Tracking Trade Show Leads” through the power of digital enhancements.

Welcome to the Technological Age

As mentioned above, the trade show game has changed. Now-a-days everything has been digitalized … from grocery shopping to home alarm systems. Why should Trade Shows not be included?
PartsBase & PBExpo wants to help your business by discussing some of these technological alternatives which are: E-ticketing, Facebook (or other social media), or through the use of an online application.

E-Tickets (The Only Tickets I’m Okay with Getting)

In the modern trade show setting we are seeing more and more large scale shows transitioning to this method of attendee distribution, especially true for lead generation. An e-ticket, or electronic ticket, is typically specifically registered to the individual, much like a typical physical ticket. The individual is able to either print out or use their mobile device as admittance.

With the clear definition lied out for us, what is it you do with this information? Wow, you are on a roll with these questions! With this type of admittance it is plausible to utilize the SAME technology that the trade show organizer is using. This means that trade show attendees can simply walk up to your rather fanciful booth, and scan their ticket to put their name into “the fish bowl”. Simple and effectively efficient … a true beauty to behold.

The downsides you ask? This method may be a bit pricey and you are also subject to the whim of the organizer (though most, if not all, happily comply). This is way of “fish bowling” is perhaps one of the simplest and most widely applicable for all audiences.

Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Oh My

Another steadily growing way to collect potential lead information for Trade Shows is by simply having individuals like or follow your business’ social page. So, imagine if you will … two to three ipads (or a similar device) set up at your booth with individuals lined up to simply log into their social media accounts. When this happens their name, email, and (on occasion) various other public information is made available to your company.

In this sense, it is DIRECTLY receiving information which can be widely applicable to your targeted audience. A huge plus to this method of contact collection is the simplicity … most individuals have some form of social media and even if they do not, emails confirmation will still work wonderfully.

Applicable Online Applications

This is perhaps the hardest of the 3 listed lead generating alternatives to “Fish Bowls” at a Trade Show. This is because it requires a bit more planning and general strategy. The strategies spoken of are typically seen in the capacity of “pre-releases” of the mobile application and/or a heavy dose of social media promotion. It would also prove beneficial to have dedicated employees to help passersby download and properly set up the online application.

The same reason that this option can be seen as limited is the same reason it can be seen as room for opportunity. Everyone & anyone with access to a smart phone would have access to your application which can then be used to collect even MORE information (address, zip code, etc…).

Beyond the Bowl

Upon moving out of your fish bowl mentality, you will see that there is MUCH more available in the ocean! Ultimately, you and your business will have to make a decision on what option best suits your budgetary restrictions.

And hey … if you’re looking for a place to put this knowledge to use why not PBExpo 2019! You can find out more information on or by calling anyone at PartsBase at 561-953-0700. If you have enjoyed this content feel free to follow us across any of our social platforms and subscribe to our blog!

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