Don’t lose the momentum
13th June 2016
Picture the scenario. You've just spent months preparing a dazzling and successful exhibition. Attendees flocked to your booth. Your messaging was seen and experienced by hundreds of targeted prospects. Your sales team worked hard and your database is overflowing with qualified leads. Your bosses are ecstatic. Great job! Time to go back to the office, put your Nike's on and get back to business as usual, right?
Don't lose that momentum! After a big show a day or two to decompress can be a good thing, but then it's time to get to work turning those leads into opportunities and leveraging new relationships to drive business growth. In other words, it's time to sell!
First, it's critical to get buy-in from your business development (BD) team to set aside time after the event for evaluation of opportunities, distribution of sales leads, and discussion with sales staff about post-show follow up. BD and marketing teams should work together to insure that sales progress is monitored closely and all show leads are carefully tracked. It's all about ROI in the exhibitions business, and nothing proves the value of your well-executed trade show efforts to VP's of Finance quite like qualified leads, proposal opportunities, and closed sales.
Second, you should carefully review attendee data captured at the show for future use. Since there's so much face-to-face interaction at conferences, attendees will generally provide more detailed information to your team about their needs, sales cycle and level of urgency, than what can be obtained elsewhere. By reviewing feedback you'll gain an accurate sense of how your message is resonating and how your prospects are responding. Then you can adjust the direction of targeted campaigns, product development initiatives and sales follow-up efforts accordingly, to maximize your impact.
Next, while the memories are still fresh in everyone's mind, it's a great time to talk with your creative team and exhibition partners about best practices, areas that need improvement and preliminary plans for next year's show. As time goes by it's easy for little things you've made notes about or great ideas you've seen in other stands to be forgotten, so a quick post-show call with vendors to to go over these things is time well spent.
Finally, you should consider using a successful show experience as a PR and social media tool. During and after a particularly successful event updating your website and social media profiles with pictures and attendee impressions from the event will raise your visibility and give those who couldn't be there a chance to experience your brand. Working with your agency to prepare case studies, awards submissions and articles for trade publications is another great way to maximize the impact of your event program.