The last piece of the trade show puzzle.
You’ve just spent a great deal of time and probably a nice amount of money to plan and exhibit at a trade show. The trade show has ended and life goes back to normal, right? Wrong. The trade show process is not over yet. There’s still a handful of important tasks that need to be performed after the show that are just as important as planning and exhibiting at the show.
Here are three tasks you can put into place to get the most out of your trade show exhibit.
LEAD FOLLOW UP
Lead follow up must be priority. Leads are one of the main reasons companies exhibit at a trade show. I usually ask these questions to exhibitors post show, “where do you stand with lead follow up.” The responses I usually receive tend to be, “We have the lead list but have not followed up yet.” Or “Our sales team has the list, but we’re not sure where they stand.” This can be frustrating to a company.
Develop a lead follow up strategy and plan. This plan should be developed upfront while building your pre-show trade show plan months prior to the show. This approach will allow you to launch your follow ups as soon as the show has ended. Remember, timing is everything when you want to stay top of mind.
Make employees accountable for follow up and include them in the follow up plan. In addition, all involved will need to track progress with leads and sales that might occur. This will help justify ROI for your show.
The lead list you receive from the show should be sorted by status of the leads (hot, warm, cold, etc.) and each lead rating should have their own follow up approach. For example, hot leads will receive a phone call followed by a thank you letter, while cold leads will receive a phone call to verify them.
The follow up plan should also include the marketing tools needed to achieve the follow up such as, a thank you letter, mailers, sell sheets, brochures, phone call scripts, etc. Your marketing tools should be well branded but can also playoff the trade show theme if appropriate. As mentioned, these items should be developed prior to the show and ready to go once the show ends.
Just because the trade show has ended doesn’t mean you stop promoting. Be sure to have a post-show marketing plan in place to take advantage of the momentum you’ve built at the show. This plan could include a post-show press release highlighting your products and successes during the show, follow up calls with editors from key trade media, and developing post-show social media content that could also include show videos and video.
Additionally, review the trade show marketing opportunities provided by show management and take advantage of them. For example, some shows allow you to send one email to your show lead list. This is a nice way to build your marketing database through a one-time acquisition email blast asking show visitors to opt-in/sign up for company news such as email newsletters, direct mail programs, etc.
Post show evaluation is also critical. Gather and review of feedback from all involved as well as your own comments regarding what worked and didn’t work. The evaluation should also review your initial budget and actual expenses for the show so next time you can develop a more accurate budget. Results are important to include in this evaluation to review if the company met the goals and objectives set prior to the show. Finally, compile all leads and leads that were converted to sales from the show in order to determine ROI. This evaluation process will promote future show success and efficiencies.
So there you have it. Three post trade show tasks that will improve your post show processes.