4 Key Questions to Ask After a Trade Show

If your company goes to trade shows, the pre-show process is probably a well-oiled machine. The staff knows who is going, the proper signage is ready, the handout information is packed, and your team is ready to meet potential new clients. Getting everything together and organized may take some time but it is almost automatic to you at this point.

What happens after the trade show?

If your answer is, “I don’t really know” or if you only have a vague answer, you might want to keep reading. You just spent time and money at a trade show trying to meet new potential clients. The after show lead collection and analysis is crucial to your business. If you do not have a system in place to store and help you analyze the leads you collected at the show, it is time to get one.

Question 1: Where do I put all the leads I collected at the trade show?

Your staff did a great job of meeting people and collecting their information at the trade show. You get back to your office and most likely you either have a stack of business cards or an Excel spreadsheet with names, email addresses and phone numbers on it. What do you do with it all?

One of the most efficient ways to store all that trade show information would be in a CRM system. Instead of saving that spreadsheet full of potential clients on your desktop, import it into a CRM system that allows you to do more than just have it sit there. You can even flag those leads as being from that particular trade show to keep them organized.
Question 2: Who is going to follow up on these leads?

Now that you have imported your trade show leads into your CRM system you can assign them to your sales reps. Any good CRM system will allow you to import and assign at the same time. You can assign based on geographic territory or assign your highest potential value leads to your most seasoned sales reps. Your sales team can now follow up on those tradeshow leads and continue building relationships.
Question 3: What do I want to send to these leads after the show?

You’re in luck; you made a wise selection and chose a CRM system that has an integrated email marketing system. Now you can put the leads you collected on a drip marketing campaign to help nurture them. Start out by sending them a short message saying how great it was to meet them and why your company has value to them. You can also provide them with links to more information about your company and perhaps videos or white papers that support your value proposition.

The drip marketing tool you have inside your CRM system allows you to set up a series of emails to go out at a time of your choosing. Use this tool to keep your message in front of these leads. Provide them with the information that they need in order to do business with your company. A drip marketing campaign combined with the follow up by your sales people is a strong effort to generate new business for your company.
Question 4: How do I know what business came as a result of going to the trade show?

Because you were smart when you imported your leads into your CRM system and flagged them as being from a particular trade show you can track this easily. When one of your sales reps closes the lead and converts them into being an account, your CRM system will still show that they were from that trade show. You can then run reports or create saved searches to see what accounts you got from what trade show. If you are using your CRM system to track sales you can even generate a report to see what revenue that trade show generated for your company. You can then use that data to generate an ROI number. This will help you plan for future shows and allocate budget to the more effective ones.

(Photo: Alejandro Escamilla, unsplash.com)

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