Qualified leads vs. contacts. Seems pretty obvious, but it isn’t. Many people confuse the two and use the two terms synonymously. A contact is someone who visits an exhibit that may have an interest in the company, its products or services, but has none of the other characteristics that make it a qualified lead.
A qualified lead is a visitor who: has an interest in the organization, its products or services, is involved in the decision process, hopefully the decision maker, has a time frame in mind for acquisition, has an approved budget and is willing to consider the exhibitor as a potential supplying partner. But most of all, a qualified lead has a defined action that both you and the lead have agreed upon that will take place after the event is over as a post show follow-up.
You might generate 150 contacts and only 35 qualified leads. However, if you recognize this then you can focus on the 35 leads by putting them into a call or follow-up plan and ultimately can bring you a timely return on your exhibiting investment.
Knowing the difference between a qualified lead and a contact is the beginning of trade show metrics.