Trade show follow-up and why it’s important
Why is it important to follow up after a trade show?
After a trade show, contact your connections for the following reasons:
Secure potential leads
Following up with people you met at a trade show who might be interested in trying your product or service can help you strengthen your relationship and direct them through the marketing or sales funnel to becoming a customer.
Increase your professional network
Connecting with someone after the trade show can help you grow your professional network and give you access to other industry professionals who might be interested even if they aren’t interested in your goods or services. Additionally, building professional ties with peers in your industry and thought leaders can frequently help you discover new opportunities in the future.
Make a good impression
After a trade show, you have another opportunity to make a good impression on someone when you get in touch with them. You can express gratitude for their time, praise for their presentation, and interest in getting to know them better as a business associate.
Represent your organization in a positive way
Even if you are simply attending and not offering a product or service demonstration, you are typically a representative of your organization. You can leave a positive impression of your company with these contacts by showing professional courtesy and friendliness by following up with people you meet.
What is a trade show?
A trade show is a gathering of people from a specific industry to show off new goods or services and discuss advancements in the field. Trade shows include company presentations of their goods, services, or case studies, booths where they can hold brief demonstrations for interested attendees, seminars, and panels where they can speak with company representatives.
Companies send out lone representatives or small groups to attend competitor presentations, showcase their goods or services, and make contact with leads. People and organizations who aren’t showcasing any company assets frequently go in search of fresh goods and services for their business, make connections with potential partners, and look for job or investment opportunities. Many trade shows take place in sizable convention centers over a number of days, particularly if the industry is in demand or expanding and the companies exhibiting are well-known or emerging.
13 strategies for your trade show follow-up
The following are some tactics you can use for successful trade show follow-ups:
1. Create a trade show-specific follow-up campaign
Outline each stage of email communication for each person you meet before attending the trade show. Heres an example:
2. Prioritize your leads
Leads fall into the following categories:
Based on the type of lead you are dealing with, tailor each stage of your follow-up strategy. This can help you spend more time on the people who are most likely to be interested in your goods, services, or partnership while maintaining and fostering connections with those who might not be eager to move forward or show interest.
3. Swap business cards
Bring business cards to the trade show so you can exchange contact details with people you meet from the industry. You can do this to invite people to connect with you and to reach out to them.
4. Ask them their preferences for following up
Consider asking them if they prefer email over a phone call when you exchange business cards. You can use this knowledge to choose the best method of communication with them. The ability to establish communication boundaries with new acquaintances as they see fit is provided by this question, which is also a professional courtesy.
5. Invite them to join your mailing list
Email addresses from potential leads or other interested parties make up a mailing list. Consider requesting people to fill out an information form so you can add them to an email list when you speak with them at your booth. Stress that by joining this list, they will receive regular updates on your company’s product or service offerings, specials, and discounts, as well as other events and blog content. Instead of just pleading with them to sign up, you can use this tactic to show them the benefits of doing so.
6. Message them via a professional networking platform
The day of or following your meeting, you can send them a message via a network of professionals. Think about requesting that they be added as a connection and expressing how much you valued your conversation with them. With this choice, you can use social media to expand your professional network.
7. Follow them on relevant social media channels
Consider adding them on traditional social media platforms if you have free time while attending the event to see what content they are posting about it and to start interacting with them and your fellow followers.
8. Send an email
Emails are frequently suitable for use as follow-up correspondence, and many people frequently choose to receive emails over phone calls. Within the first two days of your meeting, send a follow-up email. By doing so within this window, your chances of being remembered are increased.
Remind them in your email of how you met at the trade show and make specific mention of the conversation you had there to help them remember you. For instance, you might make mention of a conversation about a current business trend, express gratitude for their perspective, or share a resource relevant to the discussion. Personalizing your follow-up email shows that you genuinely want to get to know them.
9. Give them a call
At the event, you can add hot leads—leads that are genuinely interested—to a call list. Then give the sales team access to that list, or start contacting them on your own, as soon as possible. You can even follow up with a call to a lead with an email telling them that you have forwarded their information to sales and that they can anticipate a call from the team to discuss the next steps.
Hot leads should receive very personalized calls that take into account all previous interactions, including whether they responded to the emails’ calls to action.
10. Publish content that reports on the trade show event
Consider writing an article or a series of posts about the trade show event if your company has a blog. You can provide feedback on the presentations, the effectiveness of your booth, and the key insights you gained from attending. Even if your company doesn’t have a blog, you can still share these articles through shorter posts on social media or professional networking websites.
You can include a link to a blog post after you publish it in a follow-up email or in your newsletter that you send to people who subscribe to your email list. Your blog entries can give your new connections more context and your point of view on the situation, fostering the development of more intimate connections.
11. Guide leads through the marketing funnel
Create a lead-nurturing campaign that keeps in touch with potential clients until they are ready to make a purchase. Send personalized emails to each hot and warm lead to encourage them to take the next steps, like scheduling a product or service demonstration. They advance through the funnel with each new step, and you can keep track of each connection at any time and come up with ideas for how to expeditiously advance them.
12. Maintain connections with non-customers, too
Even if a person doesn’t fit your target customer profile or wouldn’t benefit from your product or service, they can still be a great resource for your company through future partnerships or by simply promoting your brand. Include a new section in your marketing funnel that inspires and educates these connections. As a result, they will still be familiar with the company when you and your team discover a job opportunity that these connections might be a good fit for, which can save you time when trying to advance them to the next stage.
13. Use an email or message template
For each email message you intend to send to individuals you met at the trade show, create a customizable framework similar to the one you created for your follow-up email campaign. This technique can help you write messages that are succinct and pertinent, enabling you to communicate with all of your contacts more effectively. Additionally, using a template gives you instructions on the essential message components, such as event-related content and a call to action, increasing the likelihood that you’ll include all the necessary details whenever you send an email.
How do you follow up after a trade show?
- Invite or welcome them to your email list. …
- Create event-related content. …
- Nurture first, Don’t sell. …
- Encourage your salespeople to make personal connections. …
- Keep them interested even if they won’t ever become a customer.
How do you know if a trade show is worth attending?
Look Into The Event History. Look into how well the event has been advertised in the past and the reputation of the show’s organizers. If you are aware of another organization that has previously participated, get in touch with them and find out about their experience exhibiting.
How do you measure a trade show success?
- Clearly define why you are following up.
- Understand your lead’s mindset.
- Timing is Everything… and Relative.
- Be personable.
- Be personal.
- Show people that you actually care.
- Keep it simple.
- Keep it direct.