10 Post-Show Tips for Stress-Free Follow-Ups

The trade show is over, and you have a bunch of new information and leads. Now what? Just like having a plan for before the show and during, you need one for after the show. These post-show tips will guide you through what you should do post trade show.

Organize your data

After a trade show, your team will have a lot of notes from speakers, demonstrations, conversations with other booths and companies, and personal notes. Having so many notes can cause a mess. Make sure you organize your written thoughts well before going through everything. Categorize everything and type them up if that helps. This way, you’ll be able to share your notes with other employees and you can collaboratively learn from the post-show information. This will make your follow-up emails and blog posts much easier to do.

Have a follow-up strategy

Before the trade show, you should have a pre-show strategy, a strategy for the floor during the show, and a post-show strategy. This will make your life much easier so you can just fill in the blanks when it’s time to dive into it. If there will be a bunch of different blogs, assign them accordingly to your writers so they know what they’ll be writing and will prepare for it. A simply laid out follow-up strategy will help you prioritize and organize in the correct ways.

Prompt response to show leads

It is crucial that you get an email out to your new leads from the trade show right away. A prompt, professional, tailored response is a great way to make your company stand out from the competition who may take days to respond. Putting together an email and blasting it to your new leads will show that you care about them joining your family of clients. Make sure you edit pictures, videos, and anything you were going to add into the email as soon as you get back to the office and send it out right away so that you stay top of mind.

Prioritize your leads

So you just got back from a trade show and you have a bunch of leads you want to connect with further. It’s great to send them all that initial follow-up email, but some leads are going to be a bit more important to you than others. Prioritize your leads so that you personally talk to the most important ones first. These leads may be ready to jump in faster than other leads that may just be interested in learning more about your business and services. They are important too, but make sure you reach out to those that are ready to use your business sooner rather than later, first.

Make your call-to-action specific

If you make your call-to-action more specific at the bottom of your email, it’ll be more personal than the typical, “to learn more” or “for more information.” Stay away from the generic buttons and write something that has to do with your company. Lay out exactly what they’ll get when they take that next step. Being clear and concise with your call-to-action will help build trust and increase the chances of starting a lasting relationship.

Follow-up emails

Like responding to your leads quickly, your clients that attended the show and those that didn’t would like to receive a follow-up. Put together an email that explains how the show went, how well your booth did, what kind of prizes or raffles your booth had, and more. This will give the clients that stayed home some information on how you did, as well as remind those that attended who you are. This is a good place to either announce a winner to your raffle or tell them that you didn’t forget and to stay tuned.

Nurture your new connections through social media

Along with email follow-ups, be sure to reach out to your new connections through social media channels. Following other businesses that you’ve met or potential clients on social media will keep them informed about your company and show them that you didn’t forget about them. Most social media channels are fine, but LinkedIn should be your first priority in most cases. Connecting on LinkedIn opens up the possibility for other connections of your contact to see you as a potential source. You follow one and you just might get more in return.

Blog and tweet

After the event, be sure to post articles or blogs to recap the events, speakers, and demonstrations that took place at the show. You’ll want to include what your favorite parts were, what kind of booths there were alongside yours, and just about anything that’ll give the outsiders a taste of what you participated in. Your blog posts about the show may even inspire other businesses that didn’t participate, to go to the next show and have their own booths. Include the takeaways, what your personal experience was like, and what benefits came from the show. You don’t only have to recap the show in a blog, but write some blogs about certain topics you learned about. For example, if you learned about ways to make our Earth and communities cleaner, write about that! Make sure to post these blogs on social media as well! Your followers want to hear about it, and social media platforms are the best places to share your thoughts and experiences.

Have a debriefing meeting with your team

An internal follow-up is just as beneficial as the follow-ups with your leads. Touching base with your team after the event to discuss what worked, what didn’t, and ideas for the next convention will make your next exhibiting experience even better. If something didn’t work, either brainstorm together to see how it can be changed or if it should be removed from future plans. If something worked well, think about how you can update and improve it for next time. Some of your team may have noticed other booths doing something that you didn’t think of. Now is the time to discuss it and see if you can come up with something even better for the next show.

Get creative to stand out

Getting creative to stand out from all the follow-up noise is crucial. You don’t want your emails to sound like all of the others that your leads are receiving. Put together an informative, playful video to include in your email. Think of something that some people might not think about. A generic follow-up email will help but might be ignored by most. If your email is fun, engaging, and different, you’ll lock those leads in quickly.

Hopefully these tips helped you come up with some ways to manage your post-show strategies. There are other things you can do, but these 10 tips are crucial when planning your post-show plans. Follow these and you’ll be good to go!

Don’t forget to incorporate some of our pre-show and on the show floor tips when planning to exhibit at a trade show or convention!

10 Show Floor Tips to Navigate Any Trade Show

You’ve finally made it to the trade show! Now what? Hopefully you planned out what you are going to do and how you’re going to do it. It’s important to have a plan before the show, during, and after. Here are some tips to get you started on preparing to work the show floor.

Introduce yourself to show organizers

Alright, so your booth is all set up with your displays and signage. Now what? Go introduce yourself to the show organizers. It’s nice to meet them and to have them meet you. After all, this is their show and it’s nice to recognize all their hard work. Thank them for allowing your business to have their own booth and promote, and show some appreciation. It’s a nice, friendly, professional thing to do.

Attend panels / workshops / presentations

Don’t just stand at your booth the entire time! Make sure there are team members that are staying at your booth so you can go check out the other programming like the panels, workshops, and presentations. You already know everything there needs to know about your company, so why not go learn about another? You never know, you could learn some things that will help you with your company in the long run.

Promote products

Where is there a better place, besides your building and the internet, to promote your products? There are hundreds of people attending these trade shows whether they are business owners or consumers. So, that means there are hundreds of people that will be seeing your booth. Why not put some of your products out to show what you can do? If you’re a small business owner that sells work shoes, bring one of each shoe to show the consumers. This will allow them to physically hold your product and see the quality, instead of looking at a picture.

 Scope out the competition

It’s okay to get nosey! Take turns walking around to look at the other booths on the show floor. It won’t hurt, and you might even learn something new. You’ll also be able to see how many visitors every booth is getting and how it relates to your own. Is there something you’re missing? What are you doing that they’re not? Take a walk and scope out your competition!

      Use social media

We’re confident that social media is being used by almost everyone at the trade show. What is the best way to grab attention? Social media! Create a hashtag that people can search and use on their posts. For example, our hashtag might be: #DAatABC, or something along those lines. This way, people will be able to see what you have posted and what others have posted about your booth easily. This doesn’t exclude those at home that couldn’t make it to the convention! A hashtag or some type of social media action will allow them to track what is going on and make them feel as if they are there.

      Take pictures and videos

Event coverage is great for your company, as well as your clients at home. Once you get to the convention and you’re all set up, have one of your employees walk around the convention and record a video and take some pictures. Imagine how awesome it would be to edit the video and send it to your clients when you get home. Posting the video and pictures on social media will keep your clients that didn’t go to the show included.

Make your booth approachable

Would you want to approach a booth where the employees are playing on their phones, not paying attention, and or giving you dirty looks? No way. Make sure your booth itself looks fun and friendly, which starts with your employees. Standing near the booth with a smile on your face is a little tactic that will work wonders. Show that you’re happy to be there and that you’re happy to answer any questions, or chat about your business to anyone. The friendlier you look, the more visitors will approach.

 Offer show specials

Most booths will offer specials. For example, they’ll have a raffle to give away something for free, or they’ll have a discount on services if visitors sign up. If you’re doing something like this, make sure you have an employee near it at all times to answer any questions on what it might be. If your booth visitors want to enter your raffle to win something from your business, explain further to those people about what you’re giving away and how it would be helpful to them.

     Food and snacks

Wouldn’t it be convenient if you were thirsty by the time you reached our booth? Offering snacks and drinks will be much appreciated by visitors, and yourselves. Your water bottles and snacks should be in line with your company culture or theme. The water bottles can have your logo on its wrapper instead of “Poland Spring,” and your snacks can be have your logo on a sticker placed on the packages. Not to mention, you might get hungry or thirsty. If you supply snacks for others, you’ll benefit from that as well!

      Assign a booth host

It wouldn’t hurt to assign a host to your booth. Have yourself, or one of your experienced and knowledgeable staff members, present at your booth. This will be the initial person that visitors will talk to and get to know first. Make sure they are very friendly and know everything about the company. Having a host ensures that the booth is always covered by someone to answer questions, chat, help with raffles, and more. Other employees can work on the snacks, the models, and presentations, and wander around the trade show, and anything else that requires extra work. If you have a booth host, you’ll always feel safe leaving it.

Having a plan set in stone before you get to the show will only help you. You’ll know who is supposed to be where, how you want to set up your booth and displays, and be able to pull it off in an organized manner.

Don’t forget to check out our tips for pre-show preparations and post-show follow-up to help you plan a stress-free exhibiting experience.

Digital Done Right: Atlantic Builders Convention Recap

In the digital world, it’s nice to be reassured that the marketing best practices are still in fact best practices since the space is constantly changing and evolving. That’s due, in part, to the ever-changing algorithms. But also, the revolutions have to do with how we as humans interact with content on the web. At the 2017 Atlantic City Builders Convention, we were reminded what a successful marketing plan needs to have in place during the “Digital Done Right” Educational Program.

 

Phil Clouser of WhiteHot Inc. moderated the panel and it featured Holly Kingsley of Pace, a WPP Company, Danny Ortiz of NJ Advance Media, and Stephanie Shaffery of Flair Marketing Group. Together, they helped take us through what type of techniques worked best at specific milestones within the sales funnel.

Digital Marketing Tactics

It all starts with knowing your buyer’s persona. Identifying who your audience is and what they’re looking for will help determine where and how you should try to reach them. Once you know what you want to accomplish, you need set your specific goals. After those are set, you back your strategy into your Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs. It was both shocking but also not surprising to hear that 82% of smartphone owners turn to their devices to make product decisions.  That means everything you do needs to be responsive. If you take nothing else away from this recap, it should be that.

 

Mobile Browsing

 

That’s an important statistic because it proves how crucial a digital strategy is. There are so many components to drive success digitally. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the “free” way to get traffic. It starts with the on-page content that helps search engines determine if your site or products are the answer to a searcher’s inquiry. It’s important to optimize your website for your users because 81% of consumers conduct research before purchasing.

 

Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, is the tactic of putting an ad for your company in front of a motivated buyer. Because they’re already looking for your goods or services, you can target specific keywords or searches. Keeping these ads relevant to your buyer’s persona will help keep your Cost per Click (CPC) down. The last thing any business wants to do is waste money.

 

Display ads are the images and videos placed around the web to visually entice your target demographic into buying. These images help persuade the not-yet-motivated buyer to become motivated. With compelling images, strong calls-to-action, and a responsive design, these ads, paired with a SEM strategy have seen a 30-50% lift in conversions.

 

Blogging

Your efforts shouldn’t stop with SEO and paid marketing. It’s been proven that consumers respond more and interact better with content. To be more specific, 70% of people prefer content over ads. Good content should be useful. It should be interesting and engaging. This encourages more interaction with your brand but also it will help increase your overall time on site. In turn, that helps your SEO and therefore your overall rankings within the search engines. A good content marketing plan brings everything full circle.

 

Another place you need to think about content is on your social media platforms. Yes, you should have social media accounts and you should be posting to them regularly. It’s crucial to have both a social media management plan, which is the content and a social media marketing strategy, which are the ads. Your presence on social media is important because 81% of consumers are influenced by social recommendations. Those recommendations could come from you, your customers who have converted to brand ambassadors, or social influencers.

 

Filming Video On Phone

 

As the second largest search engine, YouTube shouldn’t be left out of your digital plan. On average, YouTube videos garner a 40% conversion rate. Consumers, especially millennials, prefer to watch videos. The content and quality of your videos are important. That’s because 64% of people are likely to after seeing your product or service in a video.

 

Reaching your customers directly is easier with an email marketing strategy. Just like the other methods mentioned above, the purpose of emailing your targets is to grow. The content you email should encourage a physical and measurable response. And keep in mind that 51% of people open emails on a mobile device so make sure your emails are responsive.

Measure

Your efforts will be fruitless if you’re not measuring the results. Whether you’re running ads or blasting your list with emails, you need to track the returns to see what’s working and what isn’t.

 

Analytics

 

An important way to track your results is adding UTM codes to your ads and links. Formatting is key with this tracking method but luckily you can easily search for a UTM code builder. Once the code is in place, you’ll be able to see the engagement in Google Analytics, or whichever platform you use.

 

In addition to the UTM codes, you should also be setting goals in Google Analytics. You should be tracking for both macro conversions and micro conversions to gauge your success. A macro conversion is when you make a sale. A micro conversion is an activity a user engages in before purchasing. Both are important indicators of your success.

 

You can’t forget about assisted conversions either. When closely examining what led a customer to make a purchase, you can’t discount what got them there. You don’t want to make decisions only looking at a portion of the picture. By know where to look to see the bigger picture, you and your marketing team can make informed adjustments moving forward.

Takeaways

To fill the funnel, you need to give your prospects more options. These options should be measurable so that you can make more informed media buys. The purpose of any digital marketing campaign should be to move customers from becoming aware of your company to considering it as a solution to their problems ultimately leading to a conversion.

 

Every action you make and every action your want your audience to make should be measurable. If you’re not tracking your results closely and comprehensively, you’re going to make decisions that are not as informed as they could be. And everything you do digitally needs to be responsive.

 

In this digital world, you need to implement many different tactics to be successful on the web. Just like the panelists at the Atlantic Builders Convention, we’re here to help you do digital right!

Why Having a Website Isn’t Enough

These days, you need more

Your website is essentially the star of the play. However, the show generally won’t go on if the ensemble and supporting roles aren’t there to help.
 
It’s great that you have a website, but when was the last time it was updated? Do you have social media accounts that are linked to it? How has the traffic been on your site? These are all questions you need to ask yourself when it comes to your website.
 
Maybe in the 90’s it was okay to just have a website, but today, it’s pretty much irrelevant without a real online presence. “What’s the difference between having a website and being an online presence?” you may ask. A true online presence has a website that is constantly updated, is linked to social media pages, and is available 24/7. Let’s dive deeper into this:
 
Update Graphic
 
Update your website. That doesn’t necessarily mean changing the font and color scheme every couple of months. It means add a blog and publish a new post once a month. Keep this going until your followers and customers are aware of when a new blog post will be published so they know when to visit your page for new content. It’s also a good idea, depending on your business, to have a portfolio-type section of your page to show potential new customers who you have helped. Update these as you tackle more and more clients.
 
Social Networking
 
Social media pages are crucial these days. It’s expected to see the Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks’ buttons somewhere on a website. Having social media pages that link to your website makes the online presence more personal and provides extra information. A Facebook page can provide reviews, comments from clients, pictures, and more. It is also a great platform to publically communicate with your clients.
 
Searching The Web
 
Finally, your website and social media pages should be active 24/7. An online presence doesn’t work a 9am-5pm job; it is available at all hours and every day. Because of this, updating is very important. You don’t want a potential client to visit your website or any of your social media pages and see that it hasn’t been updated in a few months. This just makes it look like you’re either not a business anymore or you have other priorities.
 
With that said, your competitors also have websites, correct? Look at theirs and compare it to yours. They probably look a bit similar but neither one really stands out. You have to remember that a website is more than a virtual brochure; it’s a tool. Your website should act as a tool for your clients as well as yourself. Two tools that can be used within your website that will benefit you include Google Analytics and a Google My Business profile.
 
Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Having this tracking coding on your website will allow you to see how many people are viewing your website, what they click on the most, how long they stay on your page, and where they leave your site. All of that information will help you figure out how to make your website better and more appealing to all audiences.
 
Google My Business is a free and simple tool for businesses, brands, artists, and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. You’re able to verify and edit your business information and give your customers that little push to find you easier and get a better glimpse into who you are.
 
Responsive Web Design
 
Aside from your website being a tool for clients and customers, there are other new trends that will make your website and business that much better than your competitors’ websites. For example, make sure your website is formatted so that it is a new and pleasing experience for PCs, tablets, and mobile phones. Most people today will look up websites on their mobile devices or tablets. If your site is formatted to fit all devices, it’ll make your clients happy knowing that they can access it from anywhere.
 
Another fun and new marketing tool is an app. Most businesses these days have their own apps for smartphones and tablets. Once you’ve gone through the process of creating one, promote it on your website and social media pages. Most of the time, if a client sees that you have an app, they’ll leave your website and download it. Apps seem to be an easy, accessible way to visit your business. You can have the same amount of information or more and it all fits in your clients’ pockets. Depending on the business, you can include coupons, special deals, and a virtual membership. For example, if you own your own consulting company, you can have app-owners-only discounts off their first consultations. Apps are a great way to get your name out there and market to the world.
 
Filming Videos
What about videos? Start a YouTube channel for your business. Record a video either talking about your business and what you have done so far each month or make them educational and talk about each part of your business. Videos are fun and a more personal approach to marketing to your clients. Some people don’t want to read paragraphs. If they see a video, they’ll most likely watch that and subscribe to your channel.
 
Lastly, plan an email marketing strategy. This allows clients and website visitors to sign up for your business’ email updates. You can make it so your website can’t be accessed without signing up for the emails, or display the sign up section so it is noticeable for those who are interested. Email newsletters will fill your clients’ in on news you wish to share with them, exciting events, or even just a simple constant contact for holidays and birthdays. It’s nice to show appreciation to your clients and make sure they know that you’re always thinking about them.
 
Again, you don’t just want to have a website that doesn’t include social media links, email access, and any other new marketing technique. It’s important to have an online presence and continue to update your virtual business world. With all that we can do these days, a website just isn’t enough.