Dos and Don'ts for Improving Trade Show ROI
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What You Should Not Do
- Show up and wing it. Have a marketing strategy that includes pre-show, in-show and post-show proactive communication with your target audience.
- Use paper lead forms. Papers get lost, are hard to read and have to be input to databases manually. Lead machines are a step up but collect only basic contact info unless you upgrade to build custom surveys. Instead, create dedicated landing pages with forms to collect information from leads. There are tools that help you design pages quickly. They can include validation to make sure emails are correct and can import leads into your database. They can be used on laptops or tablets in the booth to eliminate manual entry. Check with sales to find out what their definition of a qualified lead is and what they would like to know about prospects.
- Wait until after the show to follow up. By offering educational content at the event, you can capture lead information on the spot and send nurturing emails right away. This shows your company’s proactive nature and allows you to quickly qualify those people who are actually interested versus those who are just starting to research.
- Send generic follow-up emails. All the other exhibitors at your trade shows are likely to be sending emails at the same time as you. Set yourself apart with valuable information. First send out a recap of the event. Then send some kind of insightful resource for their reference. You will not seem like a nuisance and you will free up the sales team to personally contact the most promising leads.
- Guess at ROI. Tag your leads automatically when you import them. This will allow you to track closing rates, adjust your objectives and predict future results. This is much easier when you have marketing automation. Set up a naming convention for all leads generated at an event in your CRM. You can then run regular reports to monitor the amount of deals and revenue that is tied directly to these events.
What You Should Do