- Posted by Steve Gruber
- On August 14, 2018
- 0 Comments
Every year, for a variety of customers, we help to organize and then attend events on their behalf. Some of these events see us walking the floor only while others have us bringing out trucks and equipment for a show-and-tell like experience. In all cases, there are a number of key things you need to do if you want to maximize your event generated leads. None of these are hard to do but they do require a bit of pre-planning.
I remember a number of years ago, I was attending an event with a client and I said, “So what is our goal?” He said “you go that way, I will go this way and lets see who gets the most pens.” I said to our client at that point that instead of pens, we should aim to have a lead gen contest and he can start at one end of the exhibit hall and I will start at the other and we will meet in the middle and compare who has the most leads. We set targets for 5 leads. The outcome was fairly successful. I think we generated 8 leads in total.
A few tips for ensure lead generation success at trade shows and events include:
Before attending an event you need to set lead generation goals and have a plan of action depending on the number of attendees. You could break up the exhibit hall by areas, or types of companies etc… Having solid and tangible goals gives you something to strive for. Make it fun too. We would often provide a prize for the most leads.
Pre-book meetings for the event.
We have always found that one of the best ways to ensure a successful event is to pre-book meetings at the event. For a firm I worked with in Boston years ago, before the large telecom and IT events we would go to, I would reach out to a large number of prospects and existing customers and book in the neighbourhood of 5 to 15 meetings over a three day event. This guarantees you some traffic and oftentimes if they are at the event, they are there to network and learn anyway.
When at events, you can’t be afraid to approach people, ask them questions about who they work for, what they do, reasons for being at the event, and their interests.
Check out the other exhibitors.
Other exhibitors can be solid prospects or even partners. Treat them like any other prospect situation. I know at a mining event, the suppliers we approached when totaled would buy more product from my client than the mining companies themselves.
Have some show and tell items.
I find most attendees like exhibits where they can touch and feel or do something. When possible, bring out some of your material. It is a bit harder if your solution is paper based or a financial solution but maybe there is a creative way you can make event attendees interested. At one trade show I go to annually for a client, we bring out a pickup truck, UTV and a battery powered portable generator for demonstration purposes.
Have a draw of some kind.
This is really simple. Back in the day it could have been an iPad mini or something like that. Now it might be a Fitbit or something. Have people put their names in for the draw and then once the draw is completed treat all the cards as a lead list. One of our most successful booth draws were chocolate bars we wrapped in a custom label (around the original label) with our clients messaging and branding on it. People loved them and would come over to pick one up and when they did, I would speak to them.
Summarize your leads post event and input into your sales CRM
Don’t let these leads go to waste. You have invested on being there so be sure to put the leads into your sales CRM and schedule follow ups.
Follow up on event leads.
Follow up, follow up, follow up. If they have expressed interest or it looks like there could be a fit, don’t be afraid to follow up numerous times. I would say at least 3, maximum 8 to 10.
If you are in need of assistance from a sales and marketing perspective, feel free to contact me. I would be happy to see if we can help. Alternatively, if you are simply looking for a source of excellent sales and marketing information, please feel free to sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Twitter.