Now that The Event Planner Expo 2018 has come and went, we created this article to explain how to PROPERLY execute an effective trade show follow up process without causing you to be a blood-sucking lead vulture.
Following the steps below after The Event Planner Expo can and will increase your chances of turning leads into clients.
- Add prospects to your CRM straight away.
Make sure you gather all your leads from The Event Planner Expo and have them organized in your database. Whether you collected emails via iPads, received business cards or through another format, this is critical. It is also important to label these contacts as “The Event Planner Expo Attendee” and the specific event they attended. That way, when you follow up, it’s easy to remember where the connection happened.
- Email your leads within one week of the trade show.
Create and send a personalized email to prospects you met at The Event Planner Expo. Make sure to include:
- Questions that encourage them to respond.
- A call to action – such as visiting your company’s site, taking part in a free demo or giving them free information through a blog or PDF download.
- It doesn’t hurt to include a photo of you and your team looking energized at the trade show booth. This visual will help remind the recipient of who you and your company are!
- Call the top leads.
While email is great, talking voice-to-voice is even better. Getting to know them on a more conversational level is only going to help grow that relationship and, therefore, your chance of doing business with them. It may be hard to call all the leads, so focus on the ones you had the strongest connection with and feel have potential to bring in the most business.
- Connect via LinkedIn.
Continue the relationship building by connecting on LinkedIn. Take it to the next level, by endorsing their skills, liking the articles they post and commenting (positively!) on their posts. That shows a true effort and level of care on you & your company’s part.
- Ask for feedback.
Whether via email, phone or a mailing piece, ask for feedback from the people met at your trade show. Ask questions relevant to your and their industry – such as:
- How their experience at The Event Planner Expo & your booth was.
- What any hurdles may be in this type of product or service – Why are they hesitant?
- The most helpful thing your company could offer them.
Oh, and don’t be afraid to give an incentive. Perhaps they’ll be entered into a raffle for a big prize or gift card if they share feedback.
- Referrals – Go Get Em!
Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals – in a non-aggressive manner, of course. At the end of your call or email, suggest something along the lines of, “Is there anyone else you know that could benefit from our product/services?” It’s a fast, easy way to expand your reach to not only the contacts from the trade show – but all of their clients!
- Write a blog to address any questions posed by trade show attendees.
Was there a question(s) you got a lot at The Event Planner Expo? This shows what your target demographic is seeking to know. Make sure to address this by writing a blog. You can even turn that into a LinkedIn article and an email newsletter to blast out.
- Partner with industry experts to create content.
After The Event Planner Expo, you can answer more questions or highlight hot topics at the event by bringing in an expert to do a guest blog on your website. Perhaps there was a speaker at the exhibition that would be willing to do a quick write up on your blog? If people already follow them, that’ll get the over to your website – and your offerings.
- Measure. Measure. Measure.
Take time to go over the numbers. Ask questions, such as:
- “How many leads did I generate total?”
- “Did we reach out trade show goals?
Following these 9 steps after The Event Planner Expo, and staying on top of your lead follow-ups the week after the show is considered best practice as far as turnover rates go. Stay consistent, persuasive, yet friendly so that your leads don't consider you to be a vulture.