How to get return on investment after participating in an exhibition or trade show?
Business shows and expo are among the most expensive and time consuming marketing events. How do you insure return on investment?
There's no doubt: participating in trade shows and exhibitions is among the most expensive events a company could have. Not only these activities are expensive but there are also time consuming (if you are about to join a business event, I strongly encourage you to read "Checklist for a perfect trade show" that will give you all the keys to organizing such event).
Let's see together how to get the most out of your events from a marketing perspective in order to get your money back - and more!
Before the event: make noise!
From a marketing point of view, there are two goals: get brand awareness and collect valuable contacts from potential clients. In order to reach these objectives, you will need to maximize the traffic on your booth.
What can you do to make it happen?
Why some videos that seem uninteresting at first sight manage to get a buzz?
Because traffic generates traffic: a video well shared from the beginning will bring some traffic that will generate some more until reaching a tipping point and turn viral.
In order to attract a maximum traffic on your stall, start with insuring a "basic traffic": invite your customers, friends, suppliers, partners to pay you a visit at the fair. Let all your contacts know you will be there.
A smart signature
An office worker sends an average of 15 emails a day. Say you have 10 employees in your company, you send an average of 150 emails per day.
Image the reach you have each month via email!
Set up a smart signature promoting your coming at the event on all your company's email accounts and start an efficient, effortless and free campaign!
The location of your booth is essential. You will need to negotiate hard to get a nice spot, but that is totally worth the effort! Don't set up in a dead end or far for the large alleys and try to get a booth open on 2 or 3 sides instead of one.
The best way to negotiate a good spot is to start very early. (I invite you to read the blog of The-Exhibitor for extra advice on "How to pick the perfect stall location?")
During the event: collect the right info!
Don't miss any opportunity to be known. If a visitor shows some interest for your products, don't let him leave your booth without obtaining some contact information from him.
Build a complete profile of each of your visitors: name, company, contact details, some notes and remarks on what has been discussed, one or two photos to remember who's who and a few tags to categorize your lead. It might seem like a lot of work but, trust me, you will benefit from it after your event! (you should start using myfairtool to capture prospects details on your stall)
After the show: start a careful follow-up
It is important to collect data but it is wasted efforts if you don't do a precise a quick follow-up.
Once the trade show over, regroup your notes and divide them in two piles: the first one contains all the prospects that are pretty far in the sales funnel - pass these to your sales team to convert them. The second one contains everything else - prospects not quite ready to buy, simple visitors and other curious.
Let's ignore the first pile that isn't of your marketing team's concern and focus on the second one.
Before your exhibition you should prepare your follow-up email and strategy that you only need to apply once back to the office. Add a photo of your booth crowded with people to your thank you email and send it to all the visitors that took time to visit your booth.
Don't forget to add a clear call-to-action: what do you expect people to do after reading your email? Visit your website? Set up a meeting? Ask for a quotation?
Make sure your follow-up email is sent shortly after the expo (48h maximum) and that it contains a brief yet clear message indicating the next step.
If you follow these recommendations carefully, your next business event shall be a great success!