I’ve seen it time and time again. The design is on target, the message is on point, the staff is prepared, and the brand is looking its best, and then – year after year the follow-through after the event falls flat. While at face-to-face events, you need to maximize the time you have with the sometimes 100,000 attendees that you may want to connect with. Let’s make sure face-to-face marketing provides the ROI and finds all the success that it can. The numbers are all over the board, but it has been said that more than 70% of attendees that connected with a business at a show are not being followed up with post-show. Who wins when this is the case? Those with a plan from the very beginning lead to a new customer, project, or relationship.
Before you ever begin the follow-up, you need a plan to capture those that you want to speak with. 81% of trade ѕhоw attendees have buуіng authority (1). Attendees at trade shows are often the right people at the right time in the right place. We have been hearing from our clients that in this post-Covid environment, the business conversations have never been better on the show floor. Capture those attendees with specific data tied to their names. Whether you work best in analog or digital, make sure to capture the conversation, the sentiment, the timeliness, and the needs of those you speak with. The only thing worse than receiving a phone call six months after a show with “Did we meet at a show about something” is not connecting at all.
Almost half of the attendees attend only one trade show annually. Many attendees pick and choose their shows; this represents how trade shows often have a particular audience ripe for what you have. The reason that the attendee is at the show is to connect, to talk business about which they are connected – stay on target. This may be your only chance in a 365-day cycle to make an impression to as many of those people as possible. There are countless opportunities to start a new opportunity at trade shows. Make it count. It takes an average of 4.5 connections to close a sale without an exhibition lead, and only 3.5 connections to close a lead from an exhibition (2). The advantage of face-to-face contact means you can close sales more quickly. What could that mean for your company as opposed to your competition, a lot?
81% of exhibitors use email to follow up with their trade show leads (3). Calling leads after the show was also important, with 68% of respondents. We all likely get enough emails throughout the day. This is your opportunity for a personal connection to grow. Schedule time to discuss the products and services they specifically care about. Personalize the connection – it started with a handshake; continue that path. More and more exhibitors are choosing to create video content at their shows which they can use in their marketing throughout the year on their website, in social, and shared personally with those that want to know more.
Meeting potential customers was the most positive aspect of exhibiting at a trade show, according to 83% of exhibitors (4). With all the time we spend behind our screens these days, a portion of the world truly enjoys that personal business connection that makes the world turn. At our core, people trust people, they seldom trust companies without the right people sitting behind those doors. Face-to-face marketing is where you can personalize your brand far greater than any other form in an incredibly efficient manner.
Here are a few steps to ensure success:
Make the conversation targeted, simplify the capture process, and provide rich details for the follow-up to occur post-show. So, let us know how you follow up. Let us know how we can all connect a little better.
(1) Sоurсе: CEIR: Thе Sреnd Dесіѕіоn:Anаlуzіng Hоw Exhіbіtѕ Fіt Into the Ovеrаll Marketing
(2) Source: CEIR: ‘The Cost effectiveness of Exhibition Participation: Part II
(3) Source: Display Wizard Exhibitor Survey
(4) Source: Display Wizard Exhibitor Survey.