Attending a food industry tradeshow can be a significant investment of your company’s resources, and of course, you want to make sure it’s put to good use. That’s why it’s essential to set the right plan, from attendance to a solid post-tradeshow campaign, to receive the best return on investment (ROI). At ColinKurtis Advertising, we’ve been attending tradeshows for over two decades. As a result, we have witnessed how effective post-tradeshow strategies can be in finding the right leads, establishing and maintaining long-term customer relationships, and helping you build a better campaign to support your business needs.
Here are some of our recommended steps to creating the ultimate post-tradeshow strategy.
Plan in Advance and Approach the Right Way
Once you’ve attended the tradeshow and have seen the tremendous amount of work it takes for a brand to distinguish itself by providing branded handouts and samples, designing and implementing a branded booth and so much more, the work for your sales team begins. When it comes to post-show strategy, approach it as if it’s one of your full-on marketing campaigns.
We recommend starting your post-tradeshow campaign as soon as possible for two main reasons:
- The lead will be more likely to remember you and what you have to offer
- It’ll be easier for you to remember the conversations and interactions you had with potential leads, which will help you create a more relevant and personalized campaign
Hit the Ground Running
Hopefully, you’ve taken plenty of notes to add to your CRM! Any details regarding the discussion or specific challenges the brand is looking to solve will go a long way in helping you narrow down your leads and start your campaign.
Now, consider splitting your send list into two categories: those who visited your booth and those that did not. This tactic will not only help you tailor your message for a more relatable and genuine interaction, but it will also help potential leads turn into loyal customers.
TIP: Remember to prioritize your leads. The more personalized a message you send, the more likely they will continue the conversation!
Non-visitors can be reminded of the prototypes your brand offers or overall trends displayed at the show, while booth visitors receive a unique offering to continue the conversation you had face-to-face. For hot leads, who have visited your booth and regularly engaged with your content, call them as soon as possible and maybe even send them a special offer.
Sending the Follow-up
The earlier, the better! Send a follow-up email or call your lead within two days after the show. Start with a thank you to those who attended your booth, and for any hot leads, call them as soon as you can.
Remember to keep interactions relevant and consistent by providing quality content and keeping emails short and sweet not to overwhelm a potential lead. Don’t sell anything too hard when sending the initial emails, as this could be a turn-off.
Here are a few content ideas to get started:
- A survey about their experience at your booth
- Your perspective on trends at the show
- A recent white paper or case study
- A webinar hosted by your team
- A video about your brand
- A link to your website
Once your initial emails and calls are completed, analyze interactions and engagements and prioritize the leads you gain from these steps.
Then consider providing quality content with a strong call to action to keep your brand top of mind. We recommend weekly or monthly emails with useful information such as upcoming webinars, new case studies and white papers or updates on your offerings.
Don’t forget to keep the post-tradeshow content flowing on your own social media platforms or blog for a few months after the show, and measure results accordingly to see if new interest is generated.
Lastly, connect with leads on social media platforms and stay up to date with what’s going on in their world. Regularly engage with their content by liking and commenting on their posts, and if relevant, apply what you learn from their online presence to your future conversations. If you’ve attended tradeshows before, you know how fun yet overwhelming they can be. Even great booths that stood out at the time can quickly become blurred in all the excitement. That’s why it’s crucial to stand out with personalized messages and continued conversations once the tradeshow is over.