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Lead retrieval is a means for capturing and follow-up of sales leads generated at an event, trade show, or conference. Lead retrieval systems give exhibitors the ability to measure results[1] against sales or event objectives and by doing so, justifying the investment in time, energy and budget to exhibit at the event.

The most common lead retrieval system is a trade show badge scanner that retrieves registration information from an attendee's badge. The information contained in the barcode or badge ID number is tied to a registration database. When a badge is scanned, the information is collected digitally to help an exhibitor build a list of qualified prospects at live events, typically trade shows. Lead retrieval captures attendees' full registration data – it often includes purchasing authority, buying timeline, company size, and other useful data.

Leads that have qualifiers and notes help facilitate follow-up. Because lead retrieval is digital, there’s no manual entry of cards and the leads generated can be distributed and shared quickly. In this way, lead retrieval can help facilitate follow-up for exhibitors after their events. Lead retrieval improves the traditional means of lead generation such as collecting business cards because those cards can be lost or must be manually entered into a database before follow-up can begin.

The job of an exhibitor is to attain the best possible Return On Investment and take advantage of tools allowing them to learn more about each attendee that visits their booth. Lead retrieval provides a medium that gathers and disseminates useful buying demographics from sales leads. One important benefit of electronic lead management is its ability to attach qualifiers to each lead. Many systems contain fixed qualifiers, such as “hot lead,” “register for demo,” "send literature” etc. Because not everyone at a trade show is a prospect, gathering critical information about each potential customer’s needs can make post-show lead follow-ups more effective.

On March 16, 2010, the first lead retrieval mobile app,[2] iLeads, went live on Apple's iTunes store. The app, developed by Bartizan Connects, represented a change in the tradeshow industry that until then relied on equipment rentals that were often hard to use. Apps for mobile devices are now considered standard[3] for exhibitor lead retrieval. Lead retrieval apps let exhibitors collect trade show leads using their own devices, eliminating the need to rent equipment, cutting costs for event participants and allows for real-time data download.

Types of technologyEdit


  1. ^ Stanton, Travis, “The Myths of Lead Management” Exhibitor Online December 2010
  2. ^ Hoff, Lew and Ball, Corbin, “Reinventing your business – A personal story on how mobile applications are transforming lead retrieval for tradeshows” Issue 4.5 Corbin Ball May 2010
  3. ^ Hacker, Steven, “Going Mobile: Apps for Association Events” Association News, February 2013