How To Create A Profitable Trade Show Follow Up Blueprint
I’ve heard a variety of people claim that “research shows 80% of trade show-generated leads never get any follow-up.”
People have cited CEIR, Exhibit Surveys, Exhibitor magazine and other industry organizations and publications as their “source”.
We couldn’t find any evidence that any of these sources has ever said or published anything like this. The 80% “fact” is a fiction.
The reality isn’t much better, though. Here’s what research does show: less than 70% of exhibitors have any formalized plan or process in place.*
They spent thousands of dollars, but don’t know what they’re going to do with their leads. Why?
The facts show that most trade show exhibitors don’t have a plan for lead follow up.
Think about that.
Seven out of ten exhibitors are spending lots of money exhibiting at trade shows.
But the one factor that could boost the success of their efforts is left completely up to chance!
I’m sure that most “hot” leads will receive immediate follow-up from Sales. But what kind of follow up?
And what about the rest of those leads?
Here are some tips to join the winning team by creating a great follow up plan:
1) Create the program
Your trade show follow up campaign should include multiple stages. You need:
- follow up emails written
- targeted landing pages designed,
- literature printed or prepared for electronic distribution,
- stakeholders identified and tasked with specific responsibilities,
Create the process. Then making it work is pretty easy.
The fact is that a prompt, professional response will boost your trade show results.
Most exhibitors (70%!) aren’t prepared, and may take days or weeks to follow up.
2) Offer leads a variety of responses
Not every lead is ready to write an order.
So offer them options:
- downloading a white paper,
- viewing a short video,
- requesting a personal demo,
- or signing up for a newsletter.
You’ll be better able to track which leads need the most urgent responses from your staff.
3) Provide a specific call to action
This is not the place for a feeble suggestion like “to learn more…” or “for more information…”
Instead, tell the prospect what he or she should do next:
- download the white paper,
- watch the video,
- request the demo or sign up for the newsletter.
Keep it simple, specific and real.
4) Remind prospects of what you do:
You may want to think you have a unique relationship with your prospects.
But they saw hundreds of exhibitors at the show.
Your follow up email is the perfect place to remind them of your discussion at the show.
Include a photo of your booth, from the event. Hopefully it show your booth crowded with people.
This “social proof” subtly implies you were among the successful exhibitors.
5) Make it personal:
Don’t look like a big faceless company. Add some personality to each email.
Use the name and contact info for the sales rep handling that prospect’s territory.
If your contact is ready to do business, make it extremely easy for them to do so.
6) Don’t forget the people you missed
There are lots of reasons prospects don’t attend a show—or don’t stop by your booth.
Don’t write them off too soon.
Your follow up email campaign can, with a few tweaks, appeal to these prospects as well.
The primary message and call to action can be the same. Just change the first message.
Instead of “Thank you for visiting our exhibit”, say “We’re sorry we missed you at XYZ Show.”
7) Don’t give up
Most companies send one email blast to their prospects. Sometimes they even send one email to the full attendee list.
But then they fold up their tents and move on. That leaves all but the lowest hanging fruit still on the tree.
Instead, plan follow ups to your emails. Create two or three — or more – follow ups. (Most research shows six or seven “touches” are needed.)
Offer a different message each time. You can’t always count on hitting them when they’re hot on the very first try.
These seven tips put you in a new league among exhibitors.
You are now following up proactively. This will let you reap the many benefits!
Plan ahead. You’ll get markedly better results from your trade show exhibiting efforts.
These improvements will help your company sell more products or services.
The improved results will also bring more resources and credit to your show staff.
I’m sure you’ve walked the aisles at shows and dismissed certain booths, based solely on the way they looked.
You can’t win with just a great trade show follow up plan. Your exhibit success relies on having a great looking trade show booth design too.
Are your prospects glancing and then walking away when they walk by your trade show exhibit?
If so, we can help you make a more memorable impression on the show floor.
If it’s time for a new look, or just some new accessories, give us a shout. Let us show you how.
Call us at (800) 676-3976 or email [email protected]
* This data was taken from a 2010 Exhibitor magazine Sales Lead Survey, sponsored by Lynch Exhibits and In4med Corp.