Best Practices For Following Up After A Trade Show

Most trade shows, conferences and summits have gone virtual, but the follow up is still the same. Even though you may not have met with prospects and clients face to face, it’s still important to reach out strategically and quickly after an event. You don’t want those connections and conversations to get lost in the shuffle as everyone gets back to work.

If you could use a refresher on what to do after a trade show, read on. We share tips from Patrick Doolin, a content marketing expert, on ways to crush your lead follow-up in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

Prioritize your hot leads. After a trade show or other event, you’ll likely come away with cold leads, warm leads and hot leads. The hot leads—those prospects who gave you a business card or told you they want to work with you—should be the first on your list when it comes to following up, notes Doolin.

Categorize the rest of your leads. If you did not receive something tangible from a lead, you can classify them as a warm or cold lead. The key with these leads is to simply get started on reaching out. Instead of putting them to the side, start going down your list and tracking down the people with the right title. Not all of your leads will fit in your ideal customer profile, so take time to find the right contacts within an organization.

Batch your follow-up sequences. Another best practice for following up after a trade show is grouping your leads into follow-up sequences you can easily personalize. For example, craft a message that touches on who you are, what you discussed with them and how you fit into their initiatives. Doolin says it’s important to focus on relationships rather than simply getting leads, so be sure to personalize your messages.

When following up with your leads after a trade show, Doolin recommends systemizing your approach. Here’s how he suggests tackling it:

Create a profile for each lead. Start by finding your lead’s profile on LinkedIn and gathering available info. You can then import the info to your CRM and tag your leads. For example, you could use your initials, the event and the year. (Example: AB – Expo 21).

Build a multi-channel follow-up sequence. Thoughtful outreach takes time, so be sure to carefully prioritize your leads and plan your follow up. Doolin suggests something like this after a trade show:

  • Day 1: Send a LinkedIn request with a custom message
  • Day 1: Personalized email
  • Day 1: Call
  • Day 3: Personalized email bump (see the next step)
  • Days 4 and 6: Call
  • Day 7: Email bump

Customize your email bump. Doolin says the main purpose of an email bump is to bump your message to the top of a lead’s inbox. This makes them more likely to see it and respond to it. However, don’t get lazy with these communications. The more you tailor your message to the recipient, the more you nurture the new relationships. Consider humanizing your follow-up with a video or sending a valuable piece of content relevant to the prospect’s needs.

Whether you have just wrapped up a virtual trade show or you have various events on your calendar later this year, you can make the most of your time by strategically following up with your leads. While the idea of following up with all of your prospects may seem daunting, break it down by first prioritizing your leads and then systemizing your approach. Every event is an opportunity to build relationships and generate new business, so don’t let those leads go to waste.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Patrick Doolin is a content marketing professional skilled in SEO, including on-page and pillar-cluster strategies.

filed under January 2021
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