So, you sponsored a booth at a trade show. Now what? Here are eight trade show follow-ups you should do after the event to close more deals.
Give attendees a gift… or not
Trade show giveaways can be expensive. You might be asking yourself: Are they worth it?
The answer: It depends.
Some people respond to trash and trinkets. Others don’t.
Review your buyer personas to figure out whether the people in your target audience will appreciate giveaways, and what kinds of things they like to receive. Younger professionals might appreciate a free selfie stick or phone holder. Executives won’t want to carry them around or pack them up to take them home.
Tip: Follow up after trade shows by sending people something after events are over. Consider an invitation to an exclusive webinar or a link to an app that will help them do their jobs better. It’s a good way to reconnect after trade shows, while providing value and demonstrating what makes your business unique.
Capture lead data AT EVENTS
Don’t wait until you get back to the office to upload lead data into your contact system. It will delay your team’s ability to follow-up after trade shows abs reach out to new contacts.
Tip: Get attendees to input their own information into your contact system. Think it’s impossible? It’s not! Mobile Locker’s software makes it easy to design fun and educational tablet-based experiences that people want to engage with. We’ve found innovative ways to get conference attendees to key-in their information and answer qualifying questions. Contact us to learn more.
Develop a trade show follow-up outreach plan PRIOR to events
If you wait until after trade shows to come up with contact plans, your competitors will beat you to the punch.
Give attendees a day or two to get home, unpack and catch up with work emergencies. Then have your reps reach out to them. Set priorities about which people should be contacted first and which can wait. Determine the most effective way to reach them based on their customer personas. Are they Linkedin people or would they prefer a direct email? Perhaps they’d like to receive a phone call. In most cases, you have limited opportunities to connect with prospects after events. It’s worth taking time to figure out the best ways to do it.
Tip: When you capture information about attendees, ask them when and how they prefer to be contacted.
Expand your contact list
Don’t limit your trade show follow-up to people who shared contact information. Have reps take notes about everyone they meet at the event. Do some research and connect with them through Linkedin.
They may not be ready to do business with you now, but it could help keep your business top-of-mind when they are. Or they might know and refer someone who could be a potential client.
Develop trade show follow-up messaging
So what should your reps say to prospects after trade shows are over?
Provide them with messages and talking points they can use in emails, social posts, phone calls, and in-person meetings.
Keep the messages short and simple. Start by thanking people for visiting the booth. Explain your value proposition and what your firm can do to help them do their jobs better. Provide easy ways to keep the dialogue going, like asking for an appointment.
Tip: Offering attendees a premium piece of content, such as a video, webinar or education paper is a nice way to say “thank you” for visiting your booth. PLUS, it will help gauge the interest of prospects. If they click to access it, it’s a sign they may be interested in your business.
Did you know: Mobile Locker’s software makes it easy to share content with sales reps and ensure they’re using it?
Award prizes as part of the trade show follow-up process
If you had a sweepstake in your booth, it’s time to pick winners once the event is over.
It might seem like a simple and straightforward thing to do. However there should be a strategy behind selecting winners. Carefully consider who you award prizes to. They shouldn’t necessarily go to current customers or likely buyers. And you definitely don’t want to leave it to chance.
Instead, analyze all the information you have about the people you interacted with at the event. Award the best prizes to those who demonstrated high levels of interest in your brand, but have not responded to sales calls. Offering a prize provides an opportunity for sales reps to connect with them and strike up a dialogue. Few people can resist returning a call or email when an attractive prize is offered!
Tip: Check with a lawyer to find out whether there are legal requirements related to awarding prizes in your area or industry.
Keep following up
Never give up on people who don’t respond to an initial contact.
Give it a second and third try. Evolve your messaging and offers to find something they WILL respond to. If it still doesn’t work out, add them to ongoing drip email and social media marketing campaigns. It’ll keep your business top-of-mind when they need what you have to sell. You can also monitor the content they respond to. It can provide clues about how you can tailor your offers.
Monitor results and do a post mortem
Over time, track conversions from the people you meet at trade shows. Figure out how many sales you generated and the value of the business they did with you. Also consider the future value of the business you expect to generate from them. Compare the results to your investment in trade shows. Include hard costs like travel to events, expenses and booth development, along with soft ones like staff time.
Work with your team to figure out what worked and identify areas for improvement at future events. After all, there are always ways to do things better, even for the most experienced trade show pros.