5 Great Tips for Leveraging your Trade Show Display

It’s been a long, exhausting day, but the trade show is over. You got hundreds of visitors to your trade show booth, dazzled them with your banner graphics and new products, and collected enough leads to keep your sales team busy for weeks. Unfortunately, the work isn’t done yet!

visionary hybrid trade show display with tension fabric graphics and downlighting

In fact, it’s only barely begun. Much of the hard work involved in having successful trade show displays comes afterwards. That’s when you find out if it was truly worth the cost and effort.

Here are a few things you need to do once the trade show is over, to ensure you get a greatreturn on your investment.

Follow up on those leads!

According to some industry estimates, as much aseighty percent of leads gathered at trade show displays are never followed up. Why let so many potential sales slip through your fingers?

You should start following up on those leads immediately. If there’s time in the afternoon, you should think about sending out a round of emails as soon as you get back to the office. Failing that, make sure you start digging into them on the very next business day. Strike while the iron’s hot, as they say.

You can make your life easier by cataloging and organizing your contacts before you even leave your trade show display. Take notes, or even better, use a tablet or smartphone to keep track of them as soon as you get them. Be sure to make a note of who said what, and what they expressed interest in. Correctly remembering what a specific lead wanted when you call them the next day will really impress them.

Measure your success.

Take out your list of goals for your trade show displays and compare them against the reality. Which goals did you accomplish? Which did you miss? How could you have done better? Do this soon after the show, while it’s still fresh in your mind.

Write up a report and\or create a spreadsheet and – here’s the tricky part – save it someplace where you’ll remember it before your next trade show. This is the perfect time to learn from your experiences and make resolutions for booths you run in the future.

Record your feedback.

Don’t ignore the comments and feedback you got from visitors to your trade show booth. That’s excellent raw material for market research in your hands. Trade shows give you unprecedented direct access to your target market, so make use of it. Obviously, not every suggestion is going to be gospel, but it will give you a great idea of what your customers want and how close you are to providing it.

Blog, baby, Blog!

Don’t forget about your blog and social media. If you weren’t already doing live updates during the show, you shouldimmediately jump into the online fray to get some more self-promotion going. (Hey, do it on your smartphone from the bar across the street, if you want to.) Talk about how great the show was and how well-received your products were.

Don’t just talk about yourself. If you saw interesting changes on the horizon for your industry, a post-show wrapup is the perfect time to get your thoughts out there for other industry leaders to ponder.

Wrapping It Up

Basically, your post-show time should be largely dedicated to two activities: following up on your leads to make sales, and engaging in some navel-gazing about how the show went, and what you can do better next time.

Don’t put either of these tasks off. The faster you do them, the more effective you’ll be. Make your trade show displays an integral part of your business marketing machine and make the most of them!

For more, read our short course on trade show selling or read our basic questions to ask when selling

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