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Trade Show Lead Generation Guide

Trade shows are definitely the best marketing campaigns for companies. Although an expensive affair, statistics show that not only do companies spend hugely, almost to the tune of 32% of their entire budget but they also generate the maximum leads in such trade shows. 41% companies vouch for event marketing campaigns such as trade shows as being the best methods for lead generations. All said and done, there are number of factors that account for whether or not you are able to achieve your target of quality leads.

What can be done to maximize your sales leads and get the most R0I from trade shows?

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

Pre-evaluate and research – A good amount of study into the demographics of the show attendees will give you a fair idea of how likely they are to be your future prospects. A research into the credibility of the trade show with regards to its publicity as well as performance in the previous years will help you devise a good plan. It would also be wise to know if there are any other shows happening in and around the same place at the same time so that you can be sure your efforts are wasted away.

Set measurable goals – It is imperative to be specific about what you desire from the trade show to maximize the R0I. Are you trying to increase your market presence by creating brand awareness, or looking for increase in sales leads or launching a new product/service. Once the goals are set, you need to align them with the lead generation plan. The plan should ideally be written and ready.

Well defined overall plan - A complete plan involves a pre-show activity, ongoing excitement around your booth along the entirety of the show and also something to keep the potential customers hooked on even after the show is over. A pre-show activity would ideally involve giving away special offers, discounts or demos with key messages about your product / service. Make your booth an interesting and inviting place to entice customers during the event. A live video demonstration always works well. Make sure to keep them engaged even after the show is over; they could well turn into prospective clients in the near future.

Post show activities are quite critical to convert these leads into customers. This is a good time to send information that prospects visiting your booths would have requested in the form of literature or a mailer. You could alternatively, make calls or send them mailers with feedback forms and thus help them arrive at decisions.

Choose a proper booth location - A good booth location is very vital to making your presence felt in a trade show. Therefore, you have to make this choice early as the most prominent spots will be taken first. Your booth should be located at such a place where clearly the traffic at all given times is the maximum. You can take it a notch further by accentuating the booth design and thus attract more people.

Train your booth staff - Exhibit staff at the booth is the key to getting sales leads as they represent your company. They not only need to have a pleasing and vibrant attitude but also dress up smartly, neatly and if possible in a theme so that the message is loud and clear. They need to be well trained with all the related information on the product or service that is in the offering, be well aware and have the discretion to give away samples or even premiums to prospective customers. The booth staff must also make it a point to record all the lead information including contacts and email ids of the people visiting the booths for future reference.

Evaluate and segregate vital information - Collected information has to be segregated according to priority of the leads, for instance, the hot ones to be taken up first vis-à-vis the seemingly warmer ones, so on and so forth. Ideally all this could be managed with an app. It is always easier to store and maintain information in an app and use it for future reference. Follow up on the prospects as soon as possible before the opportunity is lost to a competitor.

Finally, when everything is done, it would make sense to sit back and reflect on what worked best at the show and if anything went wrong, the reasons behind the same. It will help in making necessary improvements in the future. If a particular lead went on to become a customer in the whole process, track the results. It will help in making lead generation plans for the future.

With well thought-out planning and implementation, it will be possible to generate good number of qualified leads from a trade show. If the above tips are followed, you can surely attract more attendees to your booth and also make sure your goals and objectives are met.

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