There are only three important things to remember after a show:
TURNING LEADS INTO CONTACTS and RELATIONSHIPS INTO SALES
Fact: 89% of exhibitors go with the intention of gathering leads, but only 21% of the leads are followed up on. Don’t let this happen to you!
Unless you went in the interests of winning a prize for your booth, or for a working vacation in a conference hall, we can assume your participation at the trade show was about creating or maintaining relationships with current or potential customers.
1. Always follow up with your leads, in a timely fashion. Contact your leads while their contact with you is fresh in their mind. This also allows you to demonstrate that you are true to your word.
2. Have a “lead fulfillment” system for following up in place before you go to the show – then use it. Also, be prepared with materials you will need in advance, including letter or email templates.
3. Make it personal if possible. Here is where you will reap rewards from noting down details from your conversation with them, about their concerns or interests. You will be more likely to remember them, and they will have an easier time pulling up your memory as well. They will be flattered by the attention, and this will put you steps ahead.
4. If you receive an attendee list, don’t hesitate to contact people that did not get a chance to visit your booth. Chances are, they have forgotten who they visited.
EVALUATE YOUR TRADE SHOW EXPERIENCE
1. Meet with your booth staff and ask about their experiences. Did the layout work? The materials? The giveaways? Were there questions no one was prepared for? What are their recommendations for the next time?
2. What changes did you make onsite? Take note of what changes you made and evaluate their impact. Modify your preparation guidelines / checklist for future events to incorporate what you have learned. Don’t expect yourself to remember next time, and don’t make yourself re-invent the wheel.
3. Check your stats compared to your expectations. Were your goals met? Was this show a good match for your current business needs? Evaluate viable lead ROI.
Before the show: set goals and make sure everyone knows how to accomplish them. At the show – have everything working together towards reaching your goals. After the show – follow-up, evaluate and track your results against your goals.