Attending Is Only One Part of the Equation: 10 Trade Show Follow up Tactics to Improve Your ROI
You can only gauge the true success of a trade show event once you have evaluated how many new customers you have managed to gain once all your follow-ups have been completed afterward.
The first part of the process is searching out a suitable trade show booth and by visiting a site like Exponents Orlando, and once you have the date and venue set and your booth setup sorted you can then start to develop some viable tactics for making the most of all the leads you generate at the event itself.
Here is a look at what sort of tactics you should adopt to ensure that your trade show ROI is a positive number.
Motivated by money
To start with, it is well worth pointing out that far too many companies invest in renting a trade show booth and spend money on everything associated with attending such an event without actually having what could be called a defined strategy for following up on the leads they manage to generate.
If you have spent good money on putting your business in the limelight you want to get the best return possible on that capital outlay, which is why it is highly essential that you work on creating a formal strategy for following up on all the leads you managed to create at the show.
You need to be on the ball
It is important that you are prompt in your attempts to follow up with every lead that you managed to generate, while the event is still fresh in the mind of the attendee.
Within a matter of days after the show, you should be on the ball and firing out emails and follow up calls.
This demonstrates that you are keen to win their business and displays a level of competency and professionalism that should be well received in most cases.
Try the personal touch
A generic email follow up is probably going to restrict your response and conversion rate, which is why it pays to make the effort to personalize your message.
It shouldn’t be too difficult to address the contact by name or mention some specific details or points that they referred to when you met them at the show.
Most email inboxes are full of general sales messages so you need to stand out from the crowd with your message.
Renew that connection when you make your approach
It is not just personalized emails that can make the difference between a sale and a lost opportunity.
When you are following up by phone or letter it is essential that you confirm how you obtained their contact details by mentioning the trade show and if you made notes at the time about what it was they were most interested in from your company, use that detail as part of your introduction when re-establishing contact.
Nurture rather than attempt to seal the deal
Achieving a sale and winning a new customer is a process and even if your contact expressed a lot of interest in your product or service when you met them at the event they may still not be ready to buy just yet.
Your follow up should be more about developing a relationship rather than trying to close a sale straight away.
Allocate leads for a more personal touch
Once the show is over and you have gathered all the sales leads together it is a good idea to distribute these contact details to the salespeople who made the connection rather than just spreading them around.
It makes sense that if you managed to achieve an instant rapport at the time you will get a better response if the follow up is carried out by the same person.
Don’t be quick to dismiss a lead
You can’t expect to win the custom of every person you contact that gave you their details when you follow up but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss them as a dead end lead.
Ask whether you can send them regular updates or keep them informed about future offerings that may be of interest even if they say they are not ready to buy just yet.
If you manage to nurture a relationship your patience can often be rewarded at a later date.
Give people options
Some people are happy to receive emails and others don’t want you to contact them in that way but don’t mind a telephone call.
The point here is that in order to boost your ROI it matters that you give each lead a series of options which allow them to choose how they want you to follow up and contact them.
A person is far more likely to respond favorably to your follow up if you contact them using the medium that they confirmed a clear preference for.
A quick reminder
It is not unreasonable to suggest that a lot of attendees will suffer a bit of information overload at a trade show and that means they may not instantly recall your company when you follow up.
A good tactic here is to include a picture of your booth or at least clarify where and when you met recently.
This will help to jog their memory and open the door for further discussion once they have been reminded of what your business is and what it is offering them.
Carry out an after-show analysis
It is a fact of life that some trade shows will be more successful for you than others and that is why it is essential that you carry out an evaluation of each event and see how it compares to other shows you have attended.
Your post-show analysis should also include a look at what you think you could have done better and what worked well with visitors and what didn’t.
For instance, if your product demonstrations were well received and generated a lot of interest that will help you develop a strategy that fine tunes your approach.
If you adopt some of these ideas and strategies it could help you achieve a decent return on your investment, which is essential if you want to get the maximum value from your trade show financial outlay.