You’ve put plenty of time and money in your trade show booth, from the setup to the cost it takes to transport your team and even the downtime you’ll experience at work. If you’re not truly capturing enough leads or are just collecting business cards the old-fashioned way, you’re missing out. From using a tradeshow lead capture app to making valuable connections before and after the show, these tips will help you maximize your ROI from your next show.
What do you want to accomplish at the show? Are you there to boost brand awareness, make some initial connections or actually close deals? What does success look like? Setting goals and coming up with a plan before you go in ensures you have plenty of options; simply bringing along a box to collect business cards in won’t help you generate leads.
Start Before the Show
For those who are already in your sales funnel or that you’ve made a connection with before, getting in touch before the show can help you make a connection while you are there. For new prospects, using event hashtags on social media, sharing news about your booth, contests, and events in your blog and building buzz before you go can help you generate leads and ensure that some followers will actively seek you out.
Engage in a Variety of Ways
A passive booth won’t really bring you the results you want. Whether you run contests, offer interactive tech or even do a presentation at a class or session, engaging with prospects in a variety of ways makes it easier to connect and resonate with your prospects.
Can you do a presentation, offer contests or games or simply do live demos of your best selling products? A booth with plenty of activity and options is more dynamic and more likely to attract attention than one with staid, boring materials and not much else going on. Focusing on the visitor experience does more than just attract attention, it makes you memorable — in a good way.
Collect Leads – Not Business Cards
Use an iPad lead capture app to collect lead information; a paper form or pile of business cards just doesn’t give you the level of detail you need to follow up properly. Gather the information you want – and can truly use with technology and you’ll have an easier time engaging with qualified prospects after the show. As an added bonus, iPad apps draw attention and are easy and intuitive for prospects to use as well.
Follow Up When You Get Home
NO matter how many leads you’ve been able to gather, you won’t be able to benefit from them until you follow up. Gather the information from your leads – if you’ve used an app to collect the data it will be very easy to prepare to follow up – and touch base in the first week or so after the show. You, your booth and the show experience will still be fresh in the mind of your prospects and you’ll have a better chance to connect when you reach out right away.
The more effectively you prepare, collect data and follow up, the better return you’ll see on your trade show investment.
Also published on Medium.