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Lead Capture
Q.
We're purchasing a new lead-capture system, and I'm a bit out of touch with the available options. What are some bells and whistles I might want to inquire about with vendors?

A.
Lead-capture systems have several options available. Here are a few functions you may want to inquire about as you progress through the purchasing process.
► Literature Fulfillment – If automated literature fulfillment is a critical consideration for your marketing program, ask about the speed and manner of fulfillment. Also, what options will recipients have for printing, saving, and forwarding the materials?
► Languages – Can the system support multiple languages for the user interface, data captured, and any collateral materials it delivers? Given the diverse global marketplace, it might be important for you to shift languages on the fly to accommodate different audiences.
► Branding – Can you brand the devices and screens with logos, graphics, and color customization so the system will seamlessly integrate into your branded environment? Or are you stuck with a generic look and feel that is a better representation of the vendor than your brand?
► Presentation Materials – Does the system support presentation materials such as videos, graphics, websites, PDFs, PowerPoints, etc. so staffers can use the lead-capture tool as a presentation device? When space and budgets are tight, dual-function devices are a godsend.
► Dashboard Reports – Some systems can offer you a quick report on the total number of people that you entered into the system each day or hour of the show. Plus, some can even report on the amount of time attendees spend engaged with various materials or the lead-capture system in general. So ask vendors about the various reporting functions available.
► Manual Data Entry – Is there a way to input data into the system aside from scanning badges or photographing business cards? A few U.S. shows still refuse to issue badges, and at some international shows, attendees simply won't wear them. So depending on the events you attend, the ability to enter attendee data manually might be paramount.
Certainly, few exhibit-marketing programs will need every option available. But as your program's needs change, it's nice to have a lead-capture system that's ready to change with them, as opposed to a dinosaur that's already outdated. E

— Dean Hills, digital strategist, PRMconnect Inc., Las Vegas
Help Wanted
Send your tough questions about exhibiting to Linda Armstrong, larmstrong@exhibitormagazine.com.

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