Posted on 24, March, 2020
Last Modified on 24, March, 2020
Congratulations – you survived your trade show! You may feel a sense of relief that, after putting in all that hard work, you can finally sit back and relax knowing your preparation and planning is done and the show days have come and gone. But don’t rest yet! Some of the most important trade show work remains to be done. It’s time to follow up with your new leads and review your trade show goals to gauge the show’s success. But where to begin?
Organize Your Leads
The best place to start is by organizing your new leads in your database or CRM. The contact information you collected is your most valuable post-show asset as it will allow you to follow up with your leads and turn them into sales. If possible as you’re entering lead information, label them as attendees of the particular trade show for targeted follow-up and future reference. Once your leads are entered, be sure to scan your database for any duplicates to see if you’ve previously made any of these connections before.
Prioritize Hot Leads
If any of your leads stood out to you at the show as particularly hot, prioritize those for follow-up first. Place a phone call to these leads right away to help build a further rapport. You probably didn’t get to talk to them as much as you would have liked on the busy trade show floor, so having a more in-depth conversation will hopefully help you solidify the sale.
For the rest of your leads, be sure to send up follow-up emails within a few days. Many companies make the mistake of taking too long to follow-up, or worse, don’t follow up at all. This can take what seemed like a successful trade show and turn it in to an absolute disaster. After all, you were there to grow your business and neglecting to nurture leads is the easiest way to fail. Create and send personalized emails that include a call to action such as encouraging them to visit your company’s website, giving them free information through a download or blog, or to respond back to you for further information. If you’re able, you can also try offering a discount on your goods or services to encourage hesitant buyers.
Harness the Power of Social Media
Connect with your leads via LinkedIn (or any other appropriate social media platform) to continue building a relationship. Keeping the social part of social media in mind, like and comment on their posts to show a high level of effort and care on your company’s part. Because your goal is likely to build trust with your leads, establishing this kind of relationship can help them become more familiar with you or your company and may lead to an increased likelihood of them buying your product or services. Social media can also be a fast, easy way to expand your reach not only to your leads, but also to their contacts! You never know who else may be looking for what you have to offer.
Measure Your Results
Once you’ve initiated the follow-up process, make sure to take some time to review your trade show goals and whether or not you’ve achieved them by evaluating how you performed against your expectations. If you outperformed your goals – congratulations! But you may also want to consider if these were the right goals to begin with and optimize them for your next show. If you underperformed, try to figure out why. Maybe the trade show wasn’t the best fit for your business, or maybe you didn’t have the right staff working your booth. Maybe your graphics were outdated. Look at it from every angle to see why your strategy failed to execute.
Remember – the days following a trade show are possibly the most critical part of the process. All of the post-show work may feel daunting but it is necessary if you want the hard work you put in before and during the trade show to pay off. After all, you want to keep that momentum going so you can come away with a notable ROI.