Tradeshows, exhibitions and events are expensive, time consuming and – let’s face it – a lot of work.
The ideal way to make the most of your presence is to have a complete marketing plan for the show, including a strategy for following up the leads you get.
Yet many trade show strategies fall down when it comes to lead follow up. Reasons include weak qualification by stand staffers, lack of personal information about the lead’s actual requirement and too much time between the event and the follow up.
So if you’re investing in a trade show presence, here are our 6 Killer Strategies for Trade Show Follow Up – to help you make the most of your investment.
1. Plan your lead capture
Define how you will collect leads and what data you’ll gather. Badge scan? Lead form? Define what qualifies as a ‘good’ lead, so you’ll know which ones to prioritise. Finally, try and make a few notes after the conversation with your prospect. This will help your callers personalise the follow up – which will be appreciated.
2. Follow up quickly
It’s OK to appear keen! Follow up needs to take place within a week of the trade show while the conversation is still fresh in your leads’ minds. Don’t wait for them to contact you – it’s not likely to happen. Start with the best qualified leads and work through, and be prepared to make several-to-many attempts to reach them before your competitors get hold of them.
3. Use a ‘joined up’ follow up strategy
If you’ve captured phone, email and office address details, you can use them all as part of a multi-channel follow up approach. Use different information and marketing collateral, so your leads see more than just the flyer they picked up on your stand. If you picked up information about a specific requirement, be sure to address it.
4. Carry through your trade show message
If you’ve had a special offer, slogan or theme running as part of your trade show marketing strategy and branding, it’s important that you carry it through into your follow up. Special offers can be extended to your leads post-event too, so your leads will feel you’re reaching out to them and making them feel special.
5. Don’t assume your leads will contact you
The fact that your leads stopped by your stand for a chat and picked up a brochure and a free pen doesn’t mean they’ll be calling you as soon as they get back to the office. They’ll have visited other stands too, and will not only have your competitors’ information but will also be getting follow up calls from them.
6. Keep it personal
If you want to give your business an edge when you follow up, make it personal. Thank your leads for stopping by the stand, tell them you know what they were asking about and refer to something relevant about them such as the sector they’re in or the location of the business. Also make sure that if they specified how they want to be contacted, you use that channel.