The show was a success. The booth’s design drew quite the crowd, and your brochures and giveaways are within the hands of potential clients. Exhausting as trade show exhibiting can be, the next and final chapter of the trade show process is the most important: the follow-up. “As much, if not more thought should go into your strategy for how to creatively engage and follow up with the prospects you met at the event to ensure a positive ROI,” says Alyssa Trenkamp of Velocify blog.
Like all other aspects of trade show planning, timing is paramount when reaching out to your prospects. Having a generic “thank you for visiting us email” sent out the day after the show is a good way to promote brand awareness as well as stay in-sight of potential clients as they return to the office. Coming up with a sound game plan before you head off to the show is highly recommended. Below are some of the steps that I take to ensure that I stay organized and on track when reaching out to these prospects.
Send out a Thank You Mailer:
- Just like the Thank You email, a mailer is an additional form of brand awareness that can be used to promote your company as well as a special offer just for the attendees.
Rank Your Leads:
- Sort through all your contacts and determine which ones hold the most weight. I always arrange them in the following order: those who are ready to move ahead, those who want to schedule a meeting, those who would like to see more informational materials, and those who are not interested at this time.
- Ranking your leads allows you to prioritize on who you should reach out to first, but keep in mind that all leads should be reached out to regardless of how they rank.
Schedule Follow-up Time:
- The most overlooked thing to consider is to have an allotted amount of time set aside for you to do the follow-ups, whether it is through phone calls or email. Life happens, and it is easy to get caught up in other work. Having time scheduled allows you to fit follow-ups within your busy schedule. I always prefer to do my follow-ups within a 2-day period depending on the day of the show.
Come up with a Script:
- Composing a loose script allows you to get your message across clearly and accurately. This works well for both phone and email replies. Keep in mind to add personality as well as make it relevant to any discussion points that you may have had with the contact.
Continue to Reach Out:
- Attendees may not need your services now, but who knows what they may need in the future? Be sure to add all your leads to any email lists or newsletters that you may have.
The above are just some of the steps that I utilize when dealing with trade show follow-ups, but like everything else trade show related, it should be unique to you and your business. As stated in my original article in this series, trade shows are the perfect venue to grow brand awareness, but it is the follow-up that will convert attendees to customers. Having a tailored plan in place helps to make sure that you meet your goals for this show and others to come.