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At TrueBlue Exhibits, we have attended hundreds of Las Vegas trade show floors and have badges as an exhibitor and an attendee. We’ve visited many exhibits and received the proverbial token email after the show. But afterward were never contacted again. Moreover, we’ve also received a voicemail message with the same result. We have never contacted them back and we have never heard from them again. So what is wrong with this picture?
Well, that polite conversation on the show floor with the attendee was nothing more than a polite conversation and a badge scan. Hence, there is no incentive on either side to continue a dialog. This usually occurs due to poor note-taking on-site. In addition, there is a lack of a pre-arranged follow-up that should have been initiated on the show floor. You never qualified the leads so you go through the follow-up motions with little results.
Therefore, put yourself in the attendee’s shoes. Imagine that you are getting dozens of emails from post-show follow-up exhibitors. As the attendee, you barely remember each conversation you had on the show floor. Hence you would have little interest or incentive to provide a return response.
Leads should be categorized into hot, warm, and cool on the show floor. So, it’s important to assign a follow-up person to each lead within a week after the show ends. This assignment should be done by the Marketing or Sales Manager, with specific criteria to have the follow-up person report back all results. The Marketing Department should keep the database of leads for ROI purposes since it is usually the Marketing Department’s budget that supports the show expenses.
Plan a show floor sales strategy upfront. Train all the show staff on what you expect them to accomplish. Incentivize the staff, and have qualified attendees to leave the exhibit space with a full follow-up firmly in place. In this case, the sales staff are rewarded financially for each trial they secured with an attendee’s signature. Each attendee would sign up on-site for a free trial subscription to a product offering. Each side was incentivized and rewarded, and the dialog continued easily after the show floor. Also, the attendee signed a form to get the free product trial which was also a questionnaire that provided very specific details of the attendee’s needs.
To get results, exhibit with a purpose and give incentives to your staff and the attendee. It’s a win-win for everyone.