Trade Show Exhibitors Selling Themselves Short with Lead Follow-up Efforts

Record-breaking attendance at trade shows may not be benefiting exhibitors as much as it could, publishes

Businesses may not be making the most of their trade show potential according to the latest data from the marketing sector. Despite record-breaking attendance at last year’s events, reports show the majority of exhibitors are falling short when it comes to lead follow-up.

Crunching the Numbers

Figures from last year’s trade show industry point to an increase in attendance of almost five percent for an estimated total of more than 215 million in the United States alone. This uptick is expected to hold steady during the years to come.

On last count, more than 70 percent of companies exhibit at trade shows to raise brand awareness, generate new leads and manage relationships with current clients. This indicates businesses are well aware of the value of such events. Based on recent reports, though, only 20 percent of exhibitors follow up with leads after the fact.

Creating a Tactical Advantage

Industry experts note companies should begin to develop lead follow-up plans during the same time frame in which they are seeking out exhibit rental information and determining goals for the upcoming event. Most insist this stage should begin at least a year in advance of the show in question.

Developing specific post-event contact strategies for leads in various stages of the sales funnel should also be a priority based on information from authorities on the matter. In addition to developing those tactics, businesses are advised to ensure all members of their sales teams are kept abreast of such plans.

Making Use of Technology

Authorities are largely attributing the recent increase in trade show attendance to online marketing opportunities. Though a growing number of businesses are bringing their event advertising into the digital era, far fewer are incorporating technology into their trade show lead-capture and follow-up efforts.

Among the options in this category are badge scanners and online visitor registration forms; however, squeeze pages are emerging as effective alternatives. Experts point out online methods provides greater opportunities for information gathering and further honing lead-nurturing strategies moving forward.

Taking notes on interactions with each prospect has been deemed vital to the conversion process as well. Online lead capture options tend to foster this effort because they allow for more organization and accuracy.

Aligning lead capture and retrieval methods has likewise been advised. A number of software platforms have been developed specifically for this purpose. These tools can also aid in categorizing leads and determining how to proceed with follow-up based on their classifications.

Developing a Timeline

Additional research shows time is of the essence when following up with leads gathered at trade shows. As noted in a recent write-up from longstanding exhibit design and creation firm, Team One Exhibits, contacting leads as quickly as possible following a trade show is crucial.

Experts recommend sending follow-up emails within one or two days after the event. Further correspondence should follow over the next week or two, but businesses are warned against waiting longer. According to previously mentioned research, only 15 percent of businesses follow this protocol.

Final Word

Marketers are touting trade shows for their effectiveness in ramping up brand awareness, networking and maintaining business relationships among other aspects. Still, research shows an estimated 80 percent of businesses are failing to make the most of these events.

While a number of companies put ample time and effort into exhibit design, ordering promotional items, planning giveaways and improving visitor engagement, many fall short once the event ends. Industry experts insist planning and following through with leads are equally important to the overall outcome.

Contact Info:
Name: Christian Groff
Email: Send Email
Organization: Team One Exhibits

Release ID: 88907253