Tradeshow season is upon us—let the lead generation begin! Break out your best strategies, assemble your event teams and don’t forget the packing tape.
Every event needs a detailed plan of attack to define, outline and ensure integration of all event marketing activities. When creating this event plan, make sure you are focusing your marketing efforts in the right place at the right time to maximize your event participation.
While pre-show marketing and your at-show presence are a huge part of your event success, they should make up only about 50% of your event strategy. The most critical piece of event marketing, the other 50%, should lie in the post-show follow up.
Post-Show Follow Up Best Practices
Just like your event pre-show strategy, your critical post-show activities should be planned out in advanced and outlined in your event plan. It is not all about getting to the event and driving traffic to your booth; instead, it is about generating qualified leads and moving them into your sales/services pipeline. To do this, you must take careful measures to nurture your leads and ensure you have made an impact.
Here are four must-do post-event follow up tips for maximizing your event ROI:
TIP #1: Follow up immediately
You worked so hard networking and generating leads, but now what? Often, the few “hot leads” receive immediate follow up while the other names collected simply get inserted into a marketing database and forgotten. While this is a common practice, this is a huge marketing miss. Just because a lead doesn’t seem to be “hot” at the event doesn’t mean that they won’t be “hot” next week, next month or even next quarter.
Don’t risk passing a good lead by. At the conclusion of an event, all qualified leads should receive a speedy follow up within 3-4 business days. Whether it is a phone call or an e-mail, you should make that extra special effort and reach out to the lead while the show and your company are fresh in their mind. This timely extra step will help build the relationship further, reminding the contact of your company and its solutions/offerings while giving you a second opportunity to provide the lead with your contact information.
TIP #2: Personalize follow-up communications
When following up with show leads, make it personal. Incorporate the individual’s name and company name in any communication and tailor the communication to the recipient’s interests. A great way to accomplish this is to survey each lead onsite to better understand their product interest areas, points of pain, etc. Then, your communication can address them.
Where it is an option, capture notes from conversations with a lead at the event and jot them down for future reference. Then you can personalize the conversation based on the interaction. Making that extra connection to your lead adds familiarity and helps them put a face to the other end of the communication.
TIP #3: Provide value
When following up from an event, it is easy to come off as a hungry sales person. For best results, have a reason to follow up and keep the communication casual, not reflective of a sales pitch. To do this, prepare relevant post-show follow-up materials or schedule post-show events that will be of interest to the leads generated. Whether it involves e-mailing a whitepaper or extending an invitation to an online web event, be sure that you are offering something of value to the recipient. In addition to having the opportunity to position your organization as a thought leader, this strategy provides purpose to your follow-up efforts, giving you a reason for reaching out.
TIP #4: Think beyond initial event follow up
Now that you have successfully generated new leads and made your post-event connection to maximize your event impact, it is important that you stay in contact. Consistent contact with qualified leads is key to positioning your company and products/services top of mind. To do this, your marketing efforts must extend past post-show follow-up efforts into year-round strategic marketing.
To be successful, it is important to create integrated marketing plans that consist of lead nurturing programs and campaigns to continue to spread your marketing message. Stay in front of your target through regular seminars, webinars and/or blog posts. Keep them involved. A good lead is hard to come by, so be sure that you make every effort possible to keep them updated on the value that your company can bring to their organization.
100% Event Impact
Effective post-event follow up is key to maximizing your event impact. Make sure that you take those extra steps to get in front of your qualified leads and stay on their radar. For effective follow up, be prepared. Start planning early and give yourself plenty of time to gather, create and/or schedule the materials/events necessary. Consider the follow-up efforts as a regular part of your event planning process and outline the specific post-event activities that will take place. Then, most importantly, set aside time on your calendar, in advance, to make that important post-event connection.
You might also be interested in…