Okay, let’s face it. The main reason industrial companies do trade shows is for brand awareness and good PR. Heaven forbid you were an “un-attendee” amongst all your major competitors. An even bigger truth is that little ROI comes from exhibiting at these shows. When you think of it, you go through all the extensive planning, but what have you got to show for it? If you answered that question with replies like, “obviously the intangible benefits” and “we’re here because so-and-so is here”, then you need some serious advice.
Trade shows are a great opportunity for your business to network and meet potential leads. For your representatives working the booth, efficiency is critical for maximizing the number of leads they engage with. In the short amount of time you have, you must engage, build report, qualify, and disengage by leaving a lasting impression.
An important goal should be to meet as many prospects as possible and gather their contact information. Unless the lead is smoking hot, save the actual converting process for later. Why wait? You ask? Because most trade show visitors aren’t there to do hard business. Waiting to convert maximizes the number of visitors your team can meet, also allowing you to slowly nurture prospects that have longer sales cycles. In this case, slow and steady wins the race. Think of the tortoise and the hare for example. You want to approach your strategy like the tortoise, not the hare’s “full steam ahead” mentality.
So, how do you go about nurturing your trade show lead?
Marketing automation is one of the best strategies for industrial companies to nurture prospects toward a sale. Online marketing tracking software like ActiveConversion has email marketing capabilities. Automatic emails to prospects who are interested in your products and services can be sent emails, getting them closer to a buying decision. You can also nurture the lead even further by providing links to an online brochure, promotional offers, and other resources discussing the benefits of your products/services.
So there you have it! Converting visitors after the show maximizes your booth traffic during the show and increases potential revenue afterward. You can now think of trade shows as a way to get more leads!
Want some more tips on what to do before, during, and after the trade show?
About Andrea Patterson
Andrea is a dedicated and creative professional with experience in Marketing, Business Development and Event Management. She focuses on the areas of marketing strategy, communications, online marketing, and customer experience.