So, it’s all over, the stand is packed away, all the contacts you made at the trade show / expo are in a great bowl or organised folder/ form. Now what to do?
Well, first I always like to go through, with my team, how the event went – did we get any good feedback that will help us next time we go to an exhibition? Did the stand, social media and, if we got the chance to, talk, help us get new connections or could something have been done to improve the footfall?
Once these have all been noted it’s time to get to the follow up.
Yes, that’s the most important, business-changing part of an exhibition – the contacts you meet at the show who happily shared their details with you!
What we do after an expo or trade show:
- I usually note who the most interested people were at the expo with either stars on their business cards or by putting them in a separate “interested” folder. These are the people I tend to call and then email. They are the potential hot leads that could turn into real customers and they are the ones you need to get in touch with as soon as you can, to refresh their memory of you and to make sure you know who the truly interested parties are and who the people are that were simply being kind at the show.
- I then email the other connections I made, usually with a personalised email (this can be done one by one, or I use a system that adds their first name, making it look personalised). Within this email I share:
o How we met ie the expo itself
o Who we are
o If they are happy to be contacted with our regular newsletter (and why this will rock their world)
o The option to find out more about our business and how we can help
A Catchy Subject Line
Do not make this a long email, it will be deleted! Make the subject line short, sweet and personal – eg “great to meet you at the X show” or “X show – just a quick hello”
- Add these contacts to my CRM system, which I tag with the expo name so I know exactly how I met them, my newsletter list (once they have said it’s ok) and also to social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and so on.
You must ensure that you utilise the connections you have made at a trade show, these are your whole reason for having a stand. If you used the tips we shared in our blog all about “Making an Expo Work for Your Business” then it should have been a well strategized trade show for your business.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about how to make an expo work for your business, just share your ideas in the comments below!