Maintain A Relationship With Your Tradeshow Audience
by Kestrel Editors
Tradeshows are all about engaging your target audience. Whether through samples, interactive displays, product literature, or full presentations, the purpose of a tradeshow booth is to make contact with potential customers, planting your company's seed in their minds, and generating viable leads for your business.
It is equally important, however, that the connections made within the confines of the tradeshow booth are maintained as attendees and presenters return to the outside world. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. These methods are not mutually exclusive.
The most common practice is also the most direct, and should be utilized to some degree by all businesses participating in a tradeshow. This method is, of course, building lists of prospects, collecting contact information from the interested parties that stop into your booth. Your best prospects will volunteer their information based on genuine interest in your product, but other potential customers may need some type of incentive, like a free mailing or gift. By offering an incentive, especially one that the prospect will receive (by mail or email) at a later date, you are creating a method by which to remind the prospect of your presence, and of the experience they had in your booth.
Beyond physical incentives, leads can also be captured through interactive games or activities. Creating a dialogue with your potential leads will always have a more effective impact than a monologue presentation.
Give People a Reason to Remember
Again, initial engagement is paramount. Prospective customers first need a reason to visit your booth, next they need a reason to stay, and finally they need a reason to remember the interaction they had with your company. From the moment a prospect walks into your booth they should feel like it is worth their time to be there. This can be achieved with a combination of interesting/interactive displays, enticing promotions, a friendly and easy to talk to team, and extensive product expertise. Some companies will even partner with other businesses attending the tradeshow to maximize the effectiveness of their presentations.
What about after the tradeshow, when the booths have been torn down and everyone is back to their daily routine? The weeks after the show are all about follow-up. This is as important, if not more so, than capturing lead information in the first place. Follow up procedures can range from sales calls to the hottest leads (those customers who were ready to buy before they even left the tradeshow booth), to friendly reminders and marketing to less eager prospects. If part of your lead capture process was to offer updates by mail or email, you've already got a basic follow-up sequence in place.
Just like at the tradeshow, however, you can combine forces with other businesses to make your follow-up efforts even stronger! Finding affiliate companies that can help promote your business, like Kestrel Health Information, can be a great way for "indirect" follow-up. By running advertisements in Kestrel's print and online publications or E-newsletters, you can reach shared prospects indirectly, and tap into new potential customers, all while coupling your follow-up with other industry relevant news and information (increasing the "engagement" factor). By disseminating press releases about your new products and company affairs, you are also keeping your leads aware of your business. By staying relevant in your potential customer's mind, you can maintain the engagement they felt in your tradeshow booth, and ultimately convert that engagement into sales.