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.

10 Pre-Show Tips for Trade Show Success

The trade show you’ve been waiting for is finally here. Do you have everything prepared? You don’t want to just pack up and leave for the show without a plan or some kind of strategy. These pre-show tips will help you prepare and organize!

Have your business cards ready

Print is not dead. Business cards are an easy way for people to remember who they talked to and what your business is about. Who knows? It might help you gain a new client! Before going to a trade show or convention, make sure you have an ample amount of cards to give out as you network. Some trade shows have a big bowl to drop your card into and pick someone else’s up. It’s almost like mystery marketing, and you don’t want to miss that!

Eye-catching set up

First impressions are everything. Make sure your display is noticeable and eye-catching. You don’t just want to have a fold-up table with some business cards and a poster. Present your business to showcase your brand in a way that won’t go unnoticed. Sit down pre-show and determine a banner to print, maybe a retractable stand, and even a table drape to proudly and properly display your business. (And don’t forget that Digital Arts can help you with that!) People love colors! Combine two colors that go well together, or, if your logo has specific colors, pull some from that and continue with the theme.

Freebies

Everyone loves a free pen! Freebies are a great way to get people over to your booth and give attendees something to take home a little something from your exhibit. Print your business logo and information on pens, pads, screen cleaners, or anything that will be easy for people to grab. Freebies are a great way to market your business as well. While you’re making people smile with a shiny, new, free pen, you might be gaining a new client.

Raffles

Raffles and contests are always fun at conventions. Plan a raffle pre-show with your team for your booth visitors to participate in when they stop by. For example, put a bowl out and have people drop their business cards into it. Whichever card you draw first will be the winner of the giveaway. If you’re a consulting company, the winner could have a free consultation. Raffles create excitement, drive traffic, and make your business stand out.

Models or examples that demonstrate your business

An example of what your business is all about is something important to showcase at a trade show. Before the show, be prepared to bring some models or displays that will show off what you can do. If you own a printing company, print your logo or some images on the products you offer. If you own a landscaping business, bring large photos of the work your business has done, along with a tiny model of what a yard could look like. People would generally use their imagination if they don’t see an example, but why make them imagine it? Visuals are key.

Bring a team of knowledgeable employees

Before going to the trade show, make sure you have a team of employees that will benefit your booth. Make sure your employees are able to attend and make sure they know what their job is when you get there. Employees with extensive knowledge of your brand are important to have at the trade show to properly represent your brand. They should be prepared to answer any kind of questions that could come up at the show and represent your brand in the best ways from start to finish.

Discuss a plan with employees before the event

After you have gathered a group of employees that will go represent your business with you, make sure you come up with a plan before you get there. A well-organized trade show is a successful trade show. Come up with shifts for each employee so someone is always at the booth ready to answer questions and help visitors. If you are having a demonstration, assign an employee or two to help with that while the others manage the booth or walk around handing out business cards. A strategic plan will keep everything organized and everyone will know what to do when you get there.

Advertise that you’ll be at the convention

Spread the word! Let your clients, fans, friends, and competitors know that you’ll be attending the trade show or convention. Blast everyone with an informative email about the convention, what it’s about, and that you’ll be attending. Advertising might encourage more people to come see your booth and explore the convention. Not only will it encourage more to attend, but also your email blast might cause the recipients to check your website and social media platforms to see what’s new. Also, don’t forget to include a sneak peek picture of what your booth will look like in the email! It’ll be a nice preview and those who are coming to the convention will know how to find you.

Research what other businesses will be there

Do your research. Finding out who will be at the convention with you is good to know. You’ll want to know which competitors will be there, and what other businesses will be your convention floor neighbors. Once you find out who will be there, you’ll be able to research a bit more about them and check out their websites and portfolios. You never know, learning something new about your competitors might make you think of doing something different at the convention.

Have a travel plan

Traveling can be a headache. Creating a travel plan before departing for the convention is a smart idea. Because we don’t have the ability to see the future, traveling can go wrong in many ways. If you decide to take a few company cars, check the maps and traffic apps before you leave. Also, leave a good amount of time earlier just in case traffic develops or an accident happens while you’re en route. If you would rather take public transportation, pay attention to the schedules, and again, leave early. Having this all planned out pre-show will help alleviate unnecessary stress.

Having a strategic, well-organized plan before you set off to your trade show adventure is important. There are other things you can do to get prepared, but hopefully, these tips will help you get started. Show up like you own the place! You’ll have everything organized, and with these pre-show tips, it should be a smooth ride.

Now that your pre-show plans are set, don’t forget to map out what you’re going to do during the show, and post-show! Luckily, we’ve got tips for the entire convention life cycle.