Six Musts For Trade Show Success

Attending trade shows like The PPAI Expo brings many benefits. You get to interact with other industry professionals, access world-class education and get a first look at industry trends. Attending trade shows is especially meaningful if you have missed out on in-person events over the last two years. Face-to-face interaction helps you build deeper connections and establish stronger bonds, whether you’re connecting with old friends or meeting new people.

If you’re exhibiting in Las Vegas this week, be sure to avoid some common trade show mistakes—especially when it comes to managing your leads. We share some pointers from the SocialPoint Audience Engagement blog in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

Capture lead data. It sounds basic but make a point to gather lead information and send this information back to your team. Don’t get so busy interacting with people that you forget to gather business cards or scan badges. Remember that lead capture is critical at trade shows, so stay mindful of it.

Qualify your leads. You meet a lot of people at trade shows, but not all of them are potential buyers. Try applying the BANT method to qualify your leads. This stands for Budget, Authority, Need and Time. Do they have the budget for your products and services? Is your contact the person who makes the buying decision? What’s their level of need? And how quickly are they looking for a solution?

Ask the right questions. When you meet people at a trade show, you need to discern whether they’re good leads. You can do this through questions. Start with a question such as, “So, what do you do at [company]?” Once you engage in some initial dialogue, you can ask something like, “Which product or service would be most helpful to your company?”

Get contact data. For effective lead follow-up, you need at least an email address or phone number. The blog post advises erring on the side of doing more to get contact data. You can do this in a variety of ways, from using a tablet with a digital form to hosting giveaways or interactive games.

Take notes. When you make new contacts, don’t just scan their business card or badge. This won’t help you with your post-show follow-up. Instead, write a few notes about your conversation. Jot down the problems your prospect is facing and what they liked best about your solution.

Outline next steps. As you wrap up conversations with different connections, indicate the next step on your lead form. Maybe this particular lead wants more product information or maybe they want to book a meeting. Always be clear about the next step each lead wants to take.

It’s fulfilling to meet new people and engage in face-to-face conversations again. But don’t let the excitement of a busy trade show booth keep you from properly managing your leads. When you work to avoid some common pitfalls, you can generate a better trade show ROI and head back to your office with the information you need.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: The SocialPoint Audience Engagement blog. SocialPoint helps exhibitors and event marketers boost audience engagement.

filed under January 2022
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