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A New Approach to Virtual Trade Show Booth Surveys


Introduction

Surveys should not be difficult to operate! Too often, however, they are. For virtual trade shows, booth surveys can complement the demographic data (collected during registration) with psychographic data to help you further qualify your virtual trade show leads.  In this post, I introduce a new approach to the virtual trade show booth survey.

Make it Fun

Surveys are no fun.  As a first step, don’t call your’s a “survey”.  If you sell B2B products, call it a “Readiness Assessment” instead. Then, make it fun. Introduce a host or hostess (audio voiceover) who talks to the end user after each step, cracking jokes along the way.

Develop humorous text or imagery, to encourage users to unmute their speakers.  After every few questions, pipe some humor into the process. For instance, insert a text bubble that reads, “4 out of 5 of virtual event attendees surveyed indicate that they … dislike surveys!”

Provide Instant Feedback

When you complete most surveys, the feedback you receive is, “Thank you for participating in our survey.”  The new approach to the booth survey leverages numerical weightings to each multiple-choice answer.  You design the survey questions (and the answers), so that the answers are summed up to a total “score.”

Next, capitalize on the current popularity of badges (a la Foursquare) and assign ranges of scores to custom-designed badges.  For instance, in our B2B Readiness Assessment, the badges could be:

  1. The Dunno Badge (“I don’t know if I’m ready or not”)
  2. The Boyfriend Badge (“I don’t know if I’m ready to commit”)
  3. The Trooper Badge (“I think I’m ready, let’s do it”)
  4. The Honeymoon Badge (“Let’s skip straight to the honeymoon”)

(Note: use of sarcasm for demonstration purposes – may not be appropriate for a B2B setting.)

Your Ticket to Lead Qualification

When you designed your survey questions to add up to a score, did it seem like lead scoring?  It should have!  Just as you’d calculate an “A lead” based on their activity in your virtual booth, you badges become a form of a lead score.  If you’re implementing lead scoring for your booth visitors, you can augment scores with badge information.

For instance, “A leads” who completed your survey and received the “Honeymoon Badge” are the cream of the crop.  They receive higher priority than other “A leads” who received the Trooper, Boyfriend or Dunno badges.

Be Prescriptive on Next Steps

Surveys provide little to no information on next steps.  Since your survey is labeled a “readiness assessment,” you ought to prescribe the next steps to the user.

Our new approach assigns a specific piece of content to each badge.  For instance, users with the Dunno Badge receive the “Widgets for Dummies” eBook, while Honeymoon Badge users receive the “Widget Implementation, Volume I” white paper.  By giving users a clear follow-up plan, you’re delivering tremendous value in exchange for filling out the survey.

Conclusion

The new approach to booth surveys can create a win/win/win scenario.  First, by making it enticing and fun, you generate more survey completions. Next, by mapping each survey responder to a badge, you provide instant lead qualification (which helps you).  And finally, by prescribing a follow-up plan for each badge, you provide value back to the user, while conveniently leading them down the sales cycle.

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2 Responses to A New Approach to Virtual Trade Show Booth Surveys

  1. I love this. 3 things I took from this:

    1. Data = scoring = qualification = the ability to follow-up effectively on leads = revenue. That is good for everyone
    2. Make it fun. (Dennis, you are getting really good about talking about gamification, etc. Big breakthroughs here)
    3. This is a fundamental shift in data gathering for everything NOT just virtual trade shows.

    nice job as usual.

    • Dennis Shiao says:

      @Craig, thanks for the comments and kind words. I find that for many exhibitors, survey data doesn’t “pan out” – if surveys are done right, though, you can turn that data into gold (e.g. near-term revenue).

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