Research has demonstrated that most of the leads generated at a trade show or expo never really get a proper follow-up by the company’s representative. A study shows that fewer than 80 percent of exhibitors have any formalized plan or process designed for how they will follow up with their leads after the show. In a generation of automated lead cultivating, the circumstances may be improving to a certain degree, but merely having access to technology with which you blast every expo lead with the same, boring email message immediately upon returning to the office doesn’t mean it’s the correct route to take.
In this article, we’ll go over some excellent ideas for crafting an operative Event Planner Expo follow-up campaign.
Mental note: these strategies are based on the assumption that you gathered some hot leads – the prospects who explicitly requested follow-up or were otherwise categorized as “high priority” on the expo floor, get quick response straight from sales.
A useful follow-up campaign would be one that is designed for all Event Planner Expo leads, including the vendors and attendees who didn’t make it to your booth, and one that ensures that no qualified leads fall through the cracks.
10 Effective Tips to Follow Up with Leads After the Event Planner Expo
1. Use a lead retrieval app. Lead capturing apps are the most organized way to help you collect lead information at the expo. You can then rate the lead by order of priority based on your interaction and place the “hot leads” at the top of your to do list for after the show. In our technologically advanced world, you want to make data collecting as fast as possible and providing the ability to just scan attendee contact information will deliver maximum convenience.
2. Rapid response to expo leads is crucial. Have the campaign calculated and ready to take off so that response emails can go out directly upon leads coming into the system. A swift, professional, personalized reply is an excellent way to make your business stand out from your competitors who might take a few days or even weeks to respond.
3. Most expo leads are commonly ignored by sales. The best practice for a follow-up campaign is qualifying your leads by proposing a range of choices for further engagement. Any reply (e.g. an e-book download, a webinar, a demo request) can help you reveal hot leads that may otherwise be missed, or at the very least can assist your sales team prioritize which leads are worth being called first.
4. Utilizing the same subsequent email to each show is the surest approach to getting your message overlooked. Make sure to consistently identify the Event Planner Expo, by name, in the title of your email, and in the introductory paragraph, at the very least.
5. Make sure that your call to action is precise. Never say, "if you want to learn more" or "for more info." Instead, give the prospect significant choices for engaging with your organization: "sign up for a free demo," "schedule a phone consult," "watch our 30-minute webinar on how to double revenue at events."
6. Text messaging is the number one form of communication so use it. People read text messages within minutes of receiving it so it’s safe to say that using SMS to communicate may be more efficient than sending an e-mail to follow up with leads. Use a business texting platform to schedule follow up texts after The Event Planner Expo. You can also include links to useful information that may entice your leads to connect with you even faster.
7. Typically, marketing advice suggests that your follow-up method contains at least one offer and one call to action. Expo follow-up emails are the exemption to that rule. E.g., if the only choice you offer attendees is to ask for a demo, you will only hear back from a small subgroup of leads. Offer about 2-3 different options that will appeal to a range of prospects at a number of stages of the selling cycle, for instance: request a demo, download an e-book, or subscribe to our newsletter.
8. Use social media to post photos and videos of the action that went on at your booth after the expo. Incorporating photos and videos of your booth in your social media posts can go a long way. You want to show images of the enthusiastic crowd to help remind the attendees who you are amid the hundreds of people they spoke to at the show. Make sure to include an engaging caption with a call-to-action at the end. Some social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram will allow you to boost the post to a targeted audience with a “contact” us button to make this follow-up method even more valuable.
9. One essential email template can do double duty and cover both show leads (those prospects who registered at your booth) and also any larger list of show attendees (provided to you as an exhibitor). Design, key message and calls to action can be the same; just change the introduction and any other associated language from “thank for your visiting our booth” to “sorry we missed you.”
10. Have a particular, personalized plan for ongoing nurturing to follow your initial follow-up email. Don’t just dump show leads into your marketing database or sign them up for your monthly newsletter indiscriminately. At the very least, point leads into an email track tailored for their specific product interest or vertical market. Consider a triggered program of 2-3 emails in the days following the show (offering varying types of informational content) so that prospects don’t wait weeks until they next hear from you.
We hope these tips serve you well whether you’re an exhibitor, vendor, sponsor, or attendee. Beyond learning about the latest event trends, The Event Planner Expo will be a platform for event professionals to network with one another and form business relationships that will enhance your career. The key to making it all work for you, is knowing how to follow-up with the leads you capture so that you make the best of the contact information you collect.
If you haven’t purchased your tickets to the 2019 Event Planner Expo, there’s still time! Make sure to view all ticket options and sign up to hear this year’s speakers.