8 Can’t-Miss Steps for Maximizing Trade Show ROI.
Many companies drop-the-ball when it comes to getting the most ROI out of a trade show. They have great booths, give away cool stuff, show case new products and staff with the most knowledgeable people in the company. What they don’t do well is… Follow up!
To get the most out of a trade show, here is 8 can’t-miss steps
1. Rent a scanner. Each person at the booth should have a scanner. Choose the scanner option that allows you to create custom data input. Name, email, company is not enough information to follow up on.
2. Create 4-6 data points that are easy to work into a quick conversation.
Here are some examples:
a. Are you just starting to look for a solution or do you have the system requirements? The answer to this question will determine if they are top-of-funnel or at the consideration phase
b. What is your primary industry or sector?
c. What is the problem you are trying to solve? If your company has several solutions or applications, create a checklist in the app so that you can segment the prospects.
d. Have you researched our company? Do you have interest in a certain product? (list your product offerings or categories in the scanner
e. We may have a solution, should I have a representative contact you to further discuss?
3. Train Staff – Review the data points and scanner UI with everyone who is manning the booth. Train them on the objectives and how to get the data points. Practicing a scripted approach and role playing before the show will improve the data you gather and provide visitors with a better experience. You are looking for qualified leads for your business. Scan only people who are interested and are potential customers. Scanning people who just stopped by for a free gizmo or are not in your targeted market, will only lead to a high opt-out rate, bad data and low engagement.
4. Don’t delay, email right away. Most of your competition takes 1-4 weeks to follow up. They don’t have an automated system to track engagement and rely on representatives to follow up by phone.
1-3 days after the show, send a personalized email, from the representative, thanking them for stopping by the booth. Let them know you will be following up. Provide a link to your website or a link to a relevant product page based on data collected. Track engagement. If the prospect visits your website and views multiple pages, they will be moved to the top of the follow up list.
Using a marketing automation system, the representative would be notified when a prospect demonstrates high engagement. The sooner a prospect is qualified, the higher the chances of converting the prospect to a customer. (I recommend Sharpspring Marketing Automation to most of my clients.) If you would like to see this in action, click here to schedule a walk thru.
5. Week to 10 days after show, send a segmented email with the intelligence you gathered at the show.
a. Prospect wanted to be contacted after the show.
Subject line: Do you have time to meet this week?
Personalize the email from the representative, stating that they were at the booth and mentioned they wanted to be contacted regarding (solution to their problem) add a link to a video or relevant webpage. Track engagement. Call-to-action: Schedule a meeting. Automated scheduling can really help get the first meeting. I have used the following: Acuityscheduling.com or Timetrade.com
b. Educated prospect. Subject line: Looking for a [ solution name] at [Trade show name].
Personalize the email from the representative. Send them a case study, whitepaper, video on the solution to their problem. Track engagement. If the contacts visits page, downloads case study, watches video, score and send email to representative to follow up and qualify contact. Call-to-action: schedule a meeting.
c. Prospect in awareness phase. According to Hubspot 90% of prospects want to speak with a sales representative in the Awareness Phase.
Subject line: 3 Things you must know before purchasing [solution name].
Send a personalized email from representative. Create a landing page that speaks directly to that buyer persona. Educate them on solving the problem. Call-To-action free one-hour assessment, blueprint, evaluation… Once again, automating the follow up and meeting scheduling will greatly increase the chance to qualify the prospect.
6. Automate: Most companies do not have a system for separating the wheat-from-the chaff. It takes them weeks to start the follow up process, they have no idea who is really interested. Many representatives will make 1 or 2 phone calls and assume the prospect is not interested. According to Simon Walker, Millennial’s and Gen-X, they prefer email to talking on the phone.
Using a marketing automation tool, like Sharpspring, that tracks buyer interest, engagement, behavior, then scores and notifies sales when a prospect is a Marketing Qualified Lead is efficient, effective and trackable.
7. Long Term Nurturing: Only 15% of all prospects buy in the first 90 days. The remaining 85% that will buy, will purchase over the next 18 months. Most of the value in your lead database is long term. Create an automated system to nurture leads. Deliver relevant content educating prospects on the benefits of your products. Track, and score engagement. Automatically route marketing qualified leads to sales.
8. Track Attribution: Tracking marketing channels, trade shows, contribution to revenue vs. cost is critical in scaling and getting the highest ROI. Many manufacturers will receive 3-6 prospects with qualified opportunities within 30-90 days of a trade show. The next 15 – 30 opportunities will be over the next 18 months. If you do not have an efficient, effective system for nurturing these leads your funnel is leaking opportunities. Having a dashboard reporting takes the guess work out of where to spend your marketing dollars.
I hope you have found some value in this post. If you have any comments, or questions, please let me know.
To see how the Sharpspring Marketing Automation could reduce the time sales people spend following up and increase the number of leads/sales, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can schedule a demo meeting. Also, here is a link to my Calendar, please pick a day and time for us that is convenient.