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What should happen after a successful trade show?

Blurred background of trade show

Whether you are an association hosting a trade show or a business exhibiting at one, there is no doubt these events can be stressful. You spend most of your time (sometimes even a year or more) prepping for a couple of days that are gone in a flash. You may even feel relieved after the show days have come and gone, but if you think your work is done once the trade show ends, you are wrong. After the trade show is when some of the most important work is done. It’s time to organize your new contacts and send a follow up message. But which step do you take first?

Update your database

The contact information you collected from the trade show is perhaps your most valuable asset moving forward. It is almost impossible, however, to collect your data all in one place during the craziness of a trade show. Once you get back to the office, combine any contact information you collected during the show into one detailed document in your database.  The more detailed and complete the data is, the better your future leads will be.  If your contact information is incomplete, you can consider using a third-party service to complete the contact information. Also be sure to scan for any duplicates. You may have previously made a connection with the same contact at another event and already have them in your database. Be sure to note next to your new contacts where you met them.  This will enable you to send targeted marketing messages related to the trade show to the correct lead group.

Create a call to action

You will want to reach out to your new contacts as soon as possible, but you need to ensure your message addresses the right audience if you want their business or membership in the future. Current research states that most of your leads aren’t ready to engage or purchase anything right away.  It can take up to six to eight contacts for new leads to learn enough about your company or association to feel comfortable enough to spend money, especially if you have never personally made contact with them.  In reality, you may have uploaded the contact information of other trade show attendees from a list provided to you at the event. If that’s the case, you most likely didn’t get the chance to meet with these attendees, but that’s OK. You can start your email by saying something like “Sorry we missed you!” and then introduce your call to action. You can create an email that lists several calls to action in order to appeal to the different types of email recipients you are targeting. For example, you may link to a white paper or provide a link to subscribe to your newsletter.  Offering trade show attendees goods or services for a discounted rate may be impetus enough to convert hesitant leads into purchasers.

Utilize your geo-fence

If you used a geo-fence to send targeted advertisements to attendees during the trade show, you can send a survey afterward asking attendees to rate their experience at your booth. To encourage attendees to complete the survey, offer them a free promotional product or gift card for their participation. This type of follow-up is also a good way to put your company or association’s name back in front of the attendees after the event. The survey results will provide you with valuable feedback on ways you can improve your booth for future trade shows.

Connect on social media

A good opportunity to connect with booth visitors during the trade show is to offer them an incentive, like an entry in a raffle, after they follow your association or company on social media.  Pick one social media platform for them to follow or like you on so the process is speedy.  Before you enter the visitor in the raffle, ask them to show you the follow or like on their phone.  This strategy can be a great tactic to gain followers quickly during the show, but when your booth is jam-packed with people, it may not be realistic or practical to ask every person to follow or like your social media page. Additionally, some booth visitors may be reluctant to follow your page regardless of the incentive.  As long as you have visitors give you their basic contact information, name and email address, you should be able to find their respective social media pages after the show. Once you establish the connection over social media, a good way to turn a cold lead into a warm lead is to engage. Don’t just follow their Instagram or Twitter account. Take it one step further and comment on a photo or tweet at them.  Your goal is to establish a relationship and build trust with your leads. If they become familiar with your company or association over social media, they will be more likely to buy your goods or services.

All of these necessary post-trade show steps can seem a bit daunting after your team and you have focused all your recent efforts on the trade show itself. Instead of stressing next time trade show season is here, let MultiView take some of the workload off of your hands. With our event targeting program, we can help you set up a geo-fence that will be sure to generate quality leads. Learn more here.

Katina Smallwood

Katina Smallwood

News Briefs Assistant Executive Editor

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