Let’s focus on show floor follow-up.
At Exhibit Edge, we have attended hundreds of show floors and have been badged as an exhibitor and an attendee. We’ve visited many exhibits and exhibitors and have received the proverbial token email after the show, and have never been contacted again. We’ve also received the voicemail message with the same result. We have never contacted them back and we have never heard from them again. So what is wrong with this picture?
Well, that polite conversation on the show floor with the attendee was nothing more than a polite conversation and a badge scan. There is no incentive on either side to continue a dialog. This usually occurs due to poor note taking on site and lack of a pre-arranged follow up that should have been initiated on the show floor. You never qualified the leads so you go through the follow-up motions with little results.
Put yourself in the attendee’s shoes and imagine getting dozens of emails from post show follow up exhibitors. As the attendee, you barely remember each conversation you had on the show floor and have little interest or incentive to provide a return response.
Leads should be categorized into hot, warm, and cool on the show floor. So, it’s important to assign a follow-up person to each lead within a week after the show ends. This assignment should be done by the Marketing or Sales Manager, with specific criteria to have the follow-up person report back all results. The Marketing Department should be the ones who keep the database of leads for ROI purposes, which we will discuss later since it is usually the Marketing Department’s budget that supports the show expenses.
Plan a show floor sales strategy up front, train all the show staff on what youexpects them to accomplish, incentivize the staff, and have qualified attendees leave the exhibit space with a full follow-up firmly in place. In this case, the sales staff are rewarded financially for each trial they secured with an attendee signature, and each attendee would sign up on site for a free trial subscription to a product offering. Each side was incentivized and rewarded, and the dialog continued easily after the show floor. Also, the attendee signed a form to get the free product trial which was also a questionnaire that provided very specific details of the attendees needs.
Bottom line: Exhibiting with a purpose gets results. Incentivizing your staff and the attendee gets results. It’s a win-win for everyone.