Trade shows can be one of the most effective and efficient lead generation tools for businesses, but they can be costly too. From design and print of the display and marketing items, the investment can be thousands. And if it’s out of town, even more. Now’s the time to start planning on how to maximize your investment.
Before the show
- Months before, strategize on the entire process from the attendee’s perspective. Put yourselves in their shoes and consider what they’re doing, thinking, wishing for and experiencing days before the show, during the show, and perhaps most importantly, after the show. Call a prospect or client and ask for their feedback to get really great data points.
- How will you grow your list, and generate leads and sales by exhibiting at this trade show? Research sponsorship opportunities to the show in exchange for a list of attendees.
- If you’re sponsoring, be prepared to receive the list only weeks – sometimes only days – before the show. Ask about timing, and plan to send a postcard or email to generate pre-show sales and excitement. Add an offer to make reaching out or visiting your booth compelling.
- Know what your post-show follow up will be so execution can be seamless and timely.
During the show
- Capture interested prospects info. If you have multiple products/services, have them specify what they may be interested in.
- Have plenty of options for takeaways based on the level of interest and/or quality of lead.
- If you have a list of attendee’s, consider same day promotions using a text messaging service to draw more folks to your booth.
After the show
- Follow up within 5 days. Remember, good leads can go cold fast. Make sure your follow up includes a few touch points to remind those who may have been swamped with to-do’s when they returned.
- If sponsoring, ask for a complete attendee list, and plan one more touch point for those you have not gotten response from.
- Build your list so you can continue to communicate with prospects in the future.
- Track the results. Is it worth it to invest in the show again?
Maximize your trade show ROI with a well thought out plan to attract, capture and follow up.