How to Generate 900 Sales Qualified Leads Before Your Event Even Begins [Case Study]

lead gen before event

Transforming Your Event Program into a Demand Generation Powerhouse

If you’re in Demand Generation these days, chances are you’re struggling to generate leads to meet both lead quotas and revenue goals in your event program. According to HubSpot’s recent Demand Generation Benchmark Report, the “majority of companies are generating fewer than 500 leads per month” and “79% of all marketing leads never convert into sales.” For these reasons, 68% of B2B marketers say increasing the quality of leads is a top priority alongside quantity.

The question most demand generation professionals are asking now is not simply, “how can I generate more leads?” but “how can I generate the highest quality leads that will have a greater likelihood of converting into a closed deal?”

Well, what if I told you that Steve Arentzoff, Senior Director of Demand Generation at the largest automotive solution provider, Dealertrack, finally found the answer to that question? What if I told you that he was able to generate over 900 SQLs before his tradeshow event even began? Steve was able to book 900 appointments and meet aggressive sales goals all within the space of a single, 3-day conference. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.

How did he accomplish this amazing feat? By leveraging Event Automation to increase pre-scheduled appoints by 25% and reduce attendee check-in time by 50%.

Of course, this took an effective event strategy and planning on Steve’s part, but with Certain’s deep Eloqua integration, he was able to send out personalized event nurture campaigns to prospects and give his sales teams the support they needed in order to pre-schedule hundreds of appointments well before the event, guaranteeing a successful event that generated millions of dollars of pipeline.

Demand Generation profs are now spending almost 30% of their budgets on in-person events. Steve’s story tells us why they should not only be integrating events into their campaigns but also making it the cornerstone of their demand generation strategy.

According to Lead Forensics,

“Nothing beats face-to-face communication for building relationships. Creating an opportunity to get in front of the right people and to have personal contact with them is extremely important, especially in the digital world we now live in.”

Let’s put this differently: if you haven’t integrated events into your demand generation strategy you’re losing leads. It’s that simple. If leveraged effectively, events can fuel your lead engine and become a demand generation machine, to go back to an earlier metaphor I’ve discussed.

Events are a way for you to refuel your demand generation engine with event data–from marketing automation databases rich with historical data to Event Automation solutions, which capture attendee points of engagement throughout all stages of the event lifecycle. With so many opportunities to maximize lead generation efforts, why wouldn’t you try get the most amount of ROI from events?

lead gen workers

In Steve’s own words,

“Our objective is to go into the show with a high number of pre-scheduled appointments and support the hundreds of walk-up appointment requests, so we can deliver a great experience for clients and prospects, and meet our sales goals.”

In fact, when Dealertrack exhibited at the National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA) Expo Connect Conference last year, they were able to increase their presence and meet with the highest number of leads than ever before. During this 3-day event, Dealertrack had a massive presence with as many as 600 people in their booth at one-time and 65 demo stations.

By working closely with solution architects from Certain and Expologic, Dealertrack was able to develop a front-end calendaring and appointment scheduling system so that they could change and add appointments in real-time and make sure that all of their staff was scheduled to speak with prospects at all times.

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