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Trade Show Leads: How to Generate Them & Follow Up

In marketing, a lead is a prospective customer contact. Generating leads involves establishing contact with potential customers, also known as prospects, and encouraging them to provide personal information that is then used for marketing and sales campaigns. The end goal of lead generation is always to convert the leads into customers.

Since people don’t habitually give out their contact information to just anyone, a major aspect of lead generation is building credibility with prospects in order to gain their trust. Companies must also be able to capture the attention of potential customers in the first place.

Trade shows are one of the most effective ways for a company to generate leads. They are opportunities for businesses to showcase their products and services and meet prospects face to face. Discover the best ways to capture leads at a trade show in this article!

How to get leads at a trade show

Choose the right trade show

Not all trade shows are created equal! Choosing the right trade show can make a big difference when it comes to generating qualified leads. Before settling on an event, research the demographics of show attendees to make sure they match your target audience. Find out everything you can about the show, including how big it is, whether it keeps growing year after year, and whether it is well-publicized. Finally, consider the cost of participating and determine whether you think it will be a worthwhile investment.

Identify leads in advance

When it comes to lead generation at trade shows, it’s best to focus on quality over quantity. Throwing prizes and giveaways at every attendee is a less focused approach that will end up costing you more per lead. Instead, do your best to acquire a complete list of attendees before the event so that you can do some research and prioritize the most likely prospects.

Do pre-event outreach

Once you have acquired the necessary information and identified which attendees are most promising for your business, it’s time to start your pre-event outreach. Target your prospects with paid social media ads, send them personalized emails or call them to let them know that you’ll be at the event and invite them to book a meeting, schedule a demo, or just stop by!

You’ll also want to promote your participation on your social media platforms. Post that you’re attending, inform your followers of where you’ll be located and give them a tantalizing sneak peek of any giveaways, contests and activities you have planned. Don’t forget to use the trade show’s official hashtags to maximize your reach! You can even have special offers for customers who find you on social media—this has the double benefit of bringing traffic to your booth and indicating which platforms people are finding you on.

Consider booth location and design

If you’re planning to have a booth at your trade show, it’s important to claim it as early as possible. Generally speaking, the earlier you are, the better location you’ll get. You need to make sure that you end up in a high-traffic area that’s easy for attendees to find!

Having a unique trade show booth that stands out from the crowd is just as important as a good location. Investing in a custom trade show booth with a captivating design will help you attract more prospects. Furthermore, if you opt for a modular trade show booth, you’ll be able to reuse it at every event you participate in!

Motivate attendees to visit

To make the most out of the event, you need to find trade show booth ideas to attract visitors. You can offer discount codes and company swag and hold a raffle or contest to generate interest. Holding a contest at a trade show is a good idea because it’s an unobtrusive, positive way to collect data about your prospects. People tend to be more willing to share their information if they are rewarded for doing so!

Don’t forget to distribute promotional flyers and/or post on social media to let attendees know what you’re offering!

Collect information

Even the most promising prospects won’t do you much good if you don’t get their contact information! Make sure you have a strategic, well-organized lead collection system in place to gather the data. If the event is using wearable technology like smart badges, you can easily scan attendees’ tech to get the necessary information. Otherwise, collect business cards and LinkedIn connections, and don’t forget to keep notes on the leads you talk to so that you remember all of the details you discussed!

Following up on trade show leads

Enrich your lead data after the event

After the event, take the time to organize the prospects and information you have collected, whether in a sales intelligence tool or a simple spreadsheet.  This ensures that everything is properly stored and easily available for later use.

Then, you can begin the process of data enrichment—building a more complete profile of your leads, including more contextual information such as purchase history, contacts, business objectives and digital footprint, to help you better understand them and their needs.

Launch a follow-up campaign

Once you have all of the data in place, you can begin contacting your leads. It’s best to follow up with the prospects you connected with no later than one week after the event. Start making calls and sending emails. Remind them of your encounter and ask to schedule a meeting or a demo. If the people you met aren’t decision makers, ask for referrals.

Trade show lead capture tools

Lead retrieval and lead capture tools can make a big difference when it comes to tracking event data at a trade show. Lead retrieval tools are designed to find and access lead data by scanning event tech and looking for information about prospects. Lead capture tools focus on adding new leads to your database and improving its organization.

Depending on which type of tool you choose, you’ll have access to useful features such as a comprehensive system for capturing, organizing and storing leads, event traffic analysis based on day and time, badge and business card scanning apps, lead criteria creation and automatic scoring, and search filters.

Make a splash at your next trade show with totm exposition!

If you want your trade show participation to be worth the effort and expense, it’s important to establish a well-thought-out strategy for lead generation. Attracting promising prospects to your booth and getting their contact information is vital in order to create connections that could become loyal customers.

totm exposition designs and manufactures custom trade show displays for businesses of all kinds. Our focus on creativity, innovation and quality enables us to produce booths that truly stand out and showcase the very best of our clients’ brands. Contact us today to make your next trade show a success!