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Generating leads from our trade shows has always been a challenge for our group. With this initiative, I put together some creative ways of using our trade show presence to get more leads and get them better engaged.



  • Get an increased number of leads into Eloqua from trade shows - and make this process easier for our sales reps
  • Keep the leads engaged with our company after the trade shows
  • Encourage the sales team to participate in the campaigns


Benchmarking our current state

We know that some contacts come into Eloqua from our trade shows through Salesforce, but because we are focusing on the top part of our sales and marketing funnel, it's more meaningful for this initiative to study how many new contacts come directly into Eloqua from trade shows.


The Oracle Eloqua: Advanced Segmentation helped us create a segment to measure this. The use of "double negatives" to create logic between two filters or lists in the Segment Builder is so brilliant that my colleagues mikkohaapanen and niina.reponen had to remind me about this more than once! We can change the time frame to benchmark our results from last year. Later, we can look at how we’ve done at any time this year.


How we built our "Leads Generated by Trade Shows" segment

  1. Began with a shared filter to capture the contacts in our business area.
  2. Excluded our own employees, unsubscribes, and hard bouncebacks.
  3. Excluded everyone whose "Lead Source-Original" was not "Event." This confined the contacts in the segment to contacts in our business area who were uploaded to the Campaign Canvas after a trade show.
  4. Added a filter to exclude contacts whose Date Created field is not within the timeframe we want to examine.


We learned one lesson right away - that our efforts have plenty of room for improvement! A catastrophic badge-scanner failure in 2014 had something to do with our results, but our segment  vividly demonstrated that we either didn't reach enough leads at tradeshows last year or didn't track them properly.


Once we begin generating (and tracking) more leads from trade shows, we will need to measure the engagement of our leads. Using criteria discussed in the Academy Course – Eloqua 10: Advanced Segmentation, I set up a shared filter called “Recent Activity.” I didn’t care about whether we had sent contacts emails - only about how they responded. By excluding members of this shared filter from our "Leads Generated by Trade Shows" segment, we will be able to see how many of these leads turned into active contacts in our database.


The fun part - our campaign

Trade-show-related “mini-websites” serve up documents online


To serve up a lot of content for a specific audience, I cram a “mini-website” into a landing page. The @Academy course “Advanced Editing and Form Processing” helped with this. I used CSS and jQuery to set up a tabbed area on the landing page. Our staff bring special business cards back-printed with the URL of the landing page. The landing pages serve up datasheets, white papers, webinars, videos, and high-value offers.


These landing pages save printing and shipping costs, allow us to “see” booth visitors engaging with our content, and allow us to provide more content in the “Visit our Booth” email.


Getting contacts to enter their own names into the database

It is hard to get booth staff to send us marketing leads, and badge scanners are not always available (or reliable, as we learned). So we have created ways to get the marketing leads to give us their own contact information.


At our first trade show this year, I created a landing page to allow people to pre-register for an event. A table sign advertising the event and an iPad was pre-loaded with the landing page. Keeping our metrics in mind, I used a form processing step to set Lead Source - Original to “Event.” An interim “success” page showed we had received the form submission and refreshed to the original landing page after a few seconds.


We got enthusiastic participation from our sales team, and eight people signed up for a day-long event - quite a success given the context. I decided we needed to provide more offers on the show landing page so that we could engage more contacts. Also, we were asking people to fill in a lot of data - their first name, last name, and email address. This is a lot to ask people to do on a trade show floor. And we still don’t get much information from it.


So, using what I learned in the Academy course "Eloqua 10: Social Suite Applications,” I am working with our digital marketing group to add the LinkedIn SignOn connector to this form. (Contacts who are creeped-out by this can still use their email addresses to register for any of our offers).


Success metrics:

We expect lead generation at trade shows to increase significantly based on our new efforts. Our team has agreed on a success metric of a 500% increase in lead generation at trade shows over the next 6 months -- excluding leads that we upload from scanned badges. This will be easily measured by looking at the "Leads Generated by Tradeshows" segment described above.


Adding to this, our sales representatives are happy with our application of modern marketing techniques to trade shows, and they are participating more in our modern marketing efforts: they're using the Prospect Profiler in Salesforce and taking advantage of some of our notification emails that are triggered by the blind form submissions we set up thanks toOracle University - CX Marketing Education's new class on "Blind Form Submissions" and great posts on Topliners.


Changes going forward:

We will continue to provide more opportunities for engagement and more automation. We plan to create lead nurturing campaigns with feeders to continue engaging with our prospects in the areas they are interested in. If I could have done anything differently I would have started these efforts a year ago!

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