Helping exhibitors become more successful at following up on leads generated at your show will give your event greater value in their future marketing plans.
LEAD-TRACKING TRACK RECORD The good news:
• 90 percent of attendees say exhibitions are their primary source of information about products
• 57 percent will make a purchase decision in the next year
• 48 percent need to hear from an exhibitor only once before buying
The bad news:
• 80 percent of all show leads are handled improperly
• 49 percent of exhibitors do little or no preshow staff training
• 43 percent of buyers receive information after they’ve decided on another source
• 18 percent of booth leads never receive any follow-up
WHY DON’T EXHIBITORS FOLLOW UP?
• Incomplete or inaccurate screening
• Busy post-exhibition schedules
• No lead-tracking system in place
• Inadequate staffing
• Poor accountability
HOW YOU CAN HELP
• Provide handheld, wireless lead-tracking devices
• Offer standard yes/no and multiple-answer qualifying or survey questions
• Allow exhibitors to customize questions
• Provide easy data transfer to disk, personal digital assistant or Web site
• Download information into labels, spreadsheets or other formats, including e-mail lists
• Enable providers to offer e-mail and direct mail follow-up services
TIPS TO GIVE EXHIBITORS
Follow-up is a three-part process: before, during and after the show.
1. Do the advance work. • Be sure stand staffers understand their assignments and objectives. • Print brochures, catalogues, and other materials well in advance and stuff envelopes. • Create customizable cover letters to mail with materials. • Practice with any tech devices so you can work fluidly on the floor.
2. Be productive at the show. • Qualify leads. Use surveys and codes for hot, warm and cold. • Verify contact information and ask for the best time to phone. • Have team meetings to compare notes and prioritize leads. • Overnight or e-mail leads to a staffer who can initiate immediate follow-up mailings. • Take thank-you notes or postcards to send to best prospects while still on site.
3. Stay focused after the show. • Block your schedule for your first day back in the office and devote it to follow-up. • Assign a specific staffer or hire a temp to assist for a day. • Distribute follow-ups to regional/local sales, distributors or dealers. • Set timelines for repeat contacts. Track and be accountable for the deadlines.