Photonics West 2016 Survey: More Qualified Leads, Shift in Trade Show Follow-up

We recently asked optics and photonics companies to participate in our annual Photonics West lead generation survey. The survey results give us a better understanding of trade show lead gen and follow-up trends, and it helps business leaders benchmark their own progress in these areas.

The 2016 results are in, and we’ve seen some interesting changes compared to the last few years. Read the highlights, or scroll down to view our SlideShare presentation with the full results.


Qualified Leads Still Leader in Metrics

Number of qualified leads obtained remains the leading measure of trade show success, and in fact seems to have increased in importance. The percentage of companies tracking qualified leads rose from 50% in 2015 to 63% in 2016.

The number of qualified leads reported also jumped significantly. Of the total leads generated in 2016, 46% were qualified; this is up from 39% in 2015 and 33% in the previous few years.


What metrics do you track for trade show success?


How many qualified leads did your company generate this year?



2016 Goals: Prospects, Presentations & Partnerships

Last year, the goal was more to “see and be seen.” This year respondents were focused primarily on generating qualified leads, but several mentioned other objectives as well.

Some Photonics West participants took advantage of the technical aspect of the conference, hoping to “learn and get ideas from researchers and papers.” Others were looking to find new vendors and partners, such as one respondent who sought products to integrate in a laser system.

We at Launch were pleased to see that fewer companies this year reported using no metrics to measure success.


What were your goals for this show?



Inbound Having a Bigger Impact

According to the survey results, trade show follow-up included more emails and fewer phone calls than in 2015. Direct marketing as a trade show follow-up tactic has also decreased.

Lead nurture emails are an important part of a successful inbound marketing strategy. Studies have shown that 63% of prospects who request information will not be ready to make purchase for three or more months. But once they are ready to buy, prospects in lead nurture campaigns make 47% larger purchases than those who aren’t. Delivering consistent, relevant content keeps your company top of mind among leads in all stages of the sales funnel.


What does follow-up look like at your company?



Photonics West 2016 Survey Results