Prospecting Is Why You Turned Up
The lack of post show planning is one of the biggest trade show sins, all the effort is put into the function of the event itself, but not a lot is put into the post event planning. You went to the show to generate leads and business, but what’s your follow up plan to ensure that happens.
I have seen a lot of companies spend a fortune to go to a show, walk away with a ton of leads, and do nothing with them. Or, they planned to do something with them, but were overwhelmed with the sheer quantity of follow ups required. It’s a real shame and a tremendous waste of the money you invested to be at a trade show in the first place.
If you are going to invest in attending an event, be sure you have a way to follow up with the prospects you capture or don’t go. You will look worse if you tell people you will contact them and never do.
For our leads we broke the follow up’s into two groups, hot, or immediate follow up and casual follow up. The hot potential customers, must be set aside, making sure that specific requests can be handled. It’s important that you write down at the show what those potential buyers wanted so that you can get them the responses, or set up the appointments after the show.
The balance of the opportunities, need to be put into some form of database with a method of correspondence, like a newsletter. That should be ready to go the day you come back from your show. When you do that well, you’ll look better then almost all of your competition and will be able to capitalise on the investment you made.
Keep the correspondence going and you’ll build up credibility and your list will continue to be valuable over time. If you just take the prospects and put them in a stack when you get back, then you will likely have wasted your investment.
As you will know if you’ve done one in the past, trade show marketing is expensive. Don’t squander your investment by not being ready for the event as well as the pre and post marketing. The better job you do with all three aspects, the higher the likelihood is that you’ll see a positive return from your trade show investment.