Did you know that 59 percent of trade show attendees buy after the show is over? This is the reason why many businesses do trade shows wrong. Let me explain.
Trade show rocks – but…
I attended trade shows, particularly those related to real estate, tech, and business opportunities. I enjoy looking for opportunities (and something to buy!) while observing the current state of the industry.
As I visit booths after booths, I can’t help noticing that not all the staffs are engaging, knowledgeable and helpful. I end up getting boring pitches – including those that seem to come from a snake oil salesman, to be honest with you. Eventually, I pass on such booths. For the booths’ staff who successfully engage my interest, I happily give my contact information to them.
Now, here’s where the problem lies: To my surprise, only less than half of them follow up within three days after the trade show. Perhaps they’ve lost my contact; perhaps they don’t think I’d be that interested; perhaps their calls or emails failed to reach me for one reason or another; I don’t know. What I know is they might have lost a potential buyer. I wonder how many leads that they fail to follow up…
The moral of the story: Plan your trade show well from start to finish – or else
Let’s go back to the beginning: Most trade show attendees intend to buy after the show – not while in the show. If trade show participants fail to engage attendees and follow them up with whatever they’re offering (plus special promotions,) then they should expect a poor ROI, even a negative one.
You don’t want your trade show participation ends up as a negative ROI, in term of sales and branding.
So, what should you be doing to make sure that your booth rocks the trade show – and bring in monetary and brand value to your company?
Well, you could start with tips that you read from the Internet, or ask your fellow business owners on how to ace a trade show. But I think the best way to get started with a successful trade show marketing campaign is by having a road map, or a checklist.
Fortunately, I have found a checklist that I would like to recommend to you. It’s created by MVP Visuals, a company that makes custom branded displays like booth tents, banners, tablecloths, retail displays, and other customizable trade show items and equipment.
The list covers everything from pre-show to post-show. You can use it as a guide, as well as a to-do list. Here it is (please click to enlarge):
Having an eye-catching booth display, engaging and helpful staff and interesting brand experience is great, but if you fail to maximize your lead conversion, then the rest is rendered useless.
Do your trade show marketing holistically, from activities before the trade show to the activities after the trade show. And always focus on following up your leads, as that’s where many – if not most – of your competitors fail to do effectively.