When brands prepare for a trade show, they have specific objectives in mind: an estimated 83 percent say that they want to increase brand awareness among the attendees. Despite this planning going into the show, however, an incredible 70 percent do not have a plan for trade show follow-up that nurtures the leads and converts them into customers.
What these brands are neglecting is possibly one of the most valuable aspects of the trade show: the follow up. People who go to trade shows often only go to a few a year, with 45 percent saying that they attend only one per year. Also, an estimated 81 percent of them have buying authority for their brands. The people who go to trade shows are motivated to learn more and find solutions for their specific problem. The leads you cultivate during the hours at your booth can potentially be very valuable, if you take the time to contact them after the event.
The art of converting a trade show lead
The people who go to trade shows might be motivated to create new partnerships, but they are also faced with numerous brands and options. Given that 50 percent of sales go to the vendor who first contacts a prospect, it is important to get a communication out to your newfound leads quickly, letting your leads know that you care about their business and to remind them of who you are. Including a small photo of your booth, customizing this message to account for where you met the lead – such as at your booth or at a luncheon – and including an enticing offer that will encourage the prospect to move forward with you is critical.
Beyond that first email
As any sales person knows, it often takes several phone calls to connect with a lead. An estimated 80 percent of sales require 5 follow-up calls after an initial meeting. You need to be ready to continue to nurture and contact this new lead after you have left the trade show.
Remember that it is often in your best interest to span your efforts across multiple communications channels – i.e. social media, phone calls, emails and direct mail. For example, when you get back to the office after the trade show, send your leads a piece of direct mail with an offer that has been specifically crafted for those who were at the show. Keep this piece relative to the event. Use a balanced design that includes plenty of white space and communicates your ideas and purpose clearly. Then follow up with a phone call, and be sure to reference the direct mail piece so they’re able to make the connection.
The follow up after any trade show is an important aspect of converting leads into customers. If you are looking for ways to maximize your potential in your follow up approach, contact us. We look forward to helping you get the most out of your trade show experience.