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How to follow up after a trade show

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We’ve all done it. Been to a trade show, collected leads, then let them sit in a corner, or in a file – never to be contacted again. If that is the case, why go to the trade show?

I’ve heard excuses like “But, we have to be seen there. Our company needs to be represented. People will talk if we don’t make an appearance.”

OK great, go to the trade show. But before you go, have a post trade show communication plan in place.

As an attendee, trade shows are chaotic, everyone is pulling at you. Showing you the next big thing. Wining and dining you. Honestly, how many of the attendees will remember any particular selling point of  your product or service with hundreds bouncing around in their head? Confusion sets in and then after they return back to their post trade show lives, life takes over and it takes about 3 days to catch up. The trade show – and your product or service – is an afterthought.

So what can you do to make the tens of thousands of dollars you invested in that trade show actually pay off? Implement a post trade show follow up plan.

When the trade show is over, you will typically be given a database of attendees that came to your booth – maybe even the entire list for some smaller trade shows. This database has names, email addresses, their company name, and other info that can be used for personalized follow up via broadcast email.

Make the email a short and sweet thank you with your logo, branding, images of your product, if applicable, and plenty of links to your website. Also, add a call to action with their next step if they are interested in a call from a sales rep – or a “Buy Now” button if you have that type of product that is more consumer oriented.

After broadcasting this email, take some time to look at the tracking in your email results and see who was actually interested and what links they clicked on to see your website. After that, it may be time to have a sales rep follow up, or send some follow up emails to those that showed an interest.

These small steps taken after a trade show will leverage your investment and make your trade show experience much more profitable.