While trade shows are an opportunity to build brand awareness, the main reason businesses participate in these events is to generate leads. You want to get contact information and initiate conversations with people who are likely to become your customers. That’s usually the main aim.
However, capturing leads isn’t as easy as it sounds. Attendees won’t just give you their contact information because you showed up at the event or because your booth looks good. If you want to get their contact details, you need to work for it.
Here are six ideas to consider;
Ensure that your best lead generators are in attendance
Every company has its go-to staff when it comes to lead generation. While others might struggle with initiating conversations, these staff members only need a few seconds to get prospects’ attention. Since not everyone at the trade show will be a potential customer, you need these lead generators to quickly identify serious prospects. This way, you’ll avoid time-wasting and manage to qualify more leads in a shorter time.
Give away cool stuff
Providing cool stuff to prospects through promotional marketing is known to be quite effective as long as you hand out relevant and helpful products. You can give away bags, writing instruments, t-shirts, USB devices and so forth. Just make sure that whatever you give away is relevant. While giving away the product, you’ll get the chance to speak to the prospect and even ask if they’d like to hear from you at a later date.
Set up as many appointments as you can before the event
Planning has always been the key to success when it comes to trade show exhibitions. If you plan well, you will definitely get more qualified leads. As part of the planning, make as many appointments as you can. HubSpot even recommends organizing a pre-event such as a happy hour meeting. You can offer free drinks and appetizers for prospects who attend. And while you do this, take the opportunity to build rapport and credibility.
Share leads with other vendors
This might sound odd but it’s a very shrewd lead capturing strategy. Not every exhibitor at the trade show will be your direct rival. The idea is to identify such non-rivals and partner with them in such a way that both parties benefit. This works especially well if the two partnering businesses are promoting complementary products. You can profitably trade your leads.
Speak at the event
Speaking at the event only boosts your perception among the attendees. People will see you as an industry expert and will therefore want to come to your booth, giving you another excellent opportunity to pick up a few phone numbers, mail, and email addresses. However, headline speaking roles can be very competitive. Should you miss out, arrange your own by scheduling speaking sessions at your booth!
Act as an ambassador of the trade show
If you have staff actively helping out to make the event a success, prospects will notice your brand even more easily. As you promote it on the internet on social media, forums, and other online channels, your brand will remain at the front of the minds of web users who interact with the promotional material. And when the event finally arrives, they will be longing to see what you’re offering.
Finally, follow up
It makes little sense to work so hard giving out and accepting business cards and then failing to put them to use. So, follow up on the leads you generated, nurture them, and see if you can squeeze several sales and long term customers from them.