“Trade Show Strategies to Maximize Your ROI in 2015 Part 1”  was about goals, using proper technology and measuring success.  In Part 2  we talked about how to use giveaways and charities as a means to drive relevant customers to your booth.

In Part 3 we are focusing on the importance of setting yourself up for proper, effective follow-up.

Big Trade Show Mistakes

When your company has a trade show coming up, there is a lot of time and energy spent in the planning, the creativity, and the anticipation. Then comes the trade show and things go well. You drew in lots of relevant traffic to your booth, and everyone goes home exhausted and happy.

And then flop.  People go back to their daily regular business, and the follow-up tends to get neglected. This is a common and huge mistake.

Many businesses make one of these two big trade show mistakes:

  1. They don’t do any follow-up
  2. They do too much follow-up (calling everyone who dropped by the booth)

One of the quickest ways to make your follow-up more effective is to have categories for your booth visitors. Even when you’ve done a good job of driving relevant potential customers to your booth, there are still going to be different levels of interest such as:

  • high interest (don’t be afraid to follow up with these people right then and there)
  • moderate interest
  • low interest

What you call your categories doesn’t matter as long as you have a way to hone in on the hottest leads (those with high interest). If your booth staff has done a good job of taking notes on those who were drawn to the booth, you’ll know exactly who to follow up with first.

The best thing, of course, would be to follow up with those people who have high interest while you are still there face-to-face at the trade show by setting up a specific day and time for that follow-up call or meeting. But if that wasn’t done or there were simply too many high-interest prospects, then prioritize the follow-up for these people so that they are contacted within one day of meeting them. This means that if the trade show runs over several days, you should have staff working at the end of each day to reach out.

The quickest timeframe possible should be your goal for all levels of prospects.

And for all those follow-up calls, use the following tips:

  • whether it’s a call or email, reference something specific you spoke with them about
  • focus on relationship-building, not selling
  • make it relevant and personal
  • give them a reason to get back to you (you have a great idea for them, you have a blog article or download that will help with the issue they spoke about, etc.)
  • ask them if they would like to be on your email list, don’t just put them on
  • keep notes so you know when to call them back again
  • have your long-term plan of customer touch points

Just as you invested time and energy in determining your booth objectives and in selecting the right technology to support your trade show goals in order to boost your success, you need to have your follow-up plan and steps in place if you’re truly going to maximize your trade show ROI.