You are planning to attend a trade show or business expo. You all of a sudden realize that its more than just showing up and shaking hands. You have pre-planning to do and planning for things to do after the show.
According to trade show industry leaders, at least 80 percent of the leads generated during trade shows and business expos are never followed up on. Just think of the money you spend to attend these things, not to mention your time, travel, prep and manpower.
Get the biggest bang for your buck. How? Consider the following:
1. Obtain an attendee list from the trade show organizer if possible.
2. Mail or email to each person attending announcing something of interest to grab their attention.
3. Offer an incentive – special offer, gift, valuable content, etc.
4. Plan the booth attendance, signage, what you will hand out, how you will entice people to your booth, how you will engage in conversation with those that pass by. Script it, plan it, practice it, learn it, do it. This includes advertising specialty items.
5. Show up and act excited, don’t pull out your phone while in the booth and smile the whole time.
Now that you have attended, now what? Don’t waste any leads, any business cards, or any other contacts made. Follow up is key.
1.Start a sequential mailing to those you met, email them, and send a thank you card. Don’t forget to ask for business or referrals.
2. Keep Leads Organized Throughout the Trade Show – prioritize them. Note items of importance from each and refer to these during follow up.
3. Meet with your team to plan post-show follow up, right at the show and afterwards.
4. Bring in top management for the hottest and best leads. Figure out that communication method.
5. Update your current database with all new leads obtained. This includes social media contacts and social media databases.
6. Talk about all that you are doing, specific contact recognition and other news items of interest on your social media platforms.
7. Debrief – plan what you would like to change the next time you attend.
8. Plan and execute a long-term lead nurturing program. People didn’t show up at the show with a checkbook in hand, ready to fill out your order pad. Many and most purchase later.
There are many more things you can refine here. Make sure you have the right messaging, to the right target, utilizing the right marketing vehicles, frequently enough. That is the key to all marketing and business development.