Trade Show Planning - The BDA 10 - "After the Show"

By: jimhawkins
My last two articles dealt with "Before the Show" and "During the Show" planning, so there can't be much more to do, right? Wrong! (You just knew I'd say that, didn't you?) Here are my top ten things to do AFTER the Trade Show to help you deal with the "aftermath".

After the Show

1.Follow up on requests immediately.

Send requested material within 24 hours. A quick response is your second opportunity to make a favorable impression. (Your performance in the booth is the first). You could even arrange to have your office forward the material while you're at the Trade Show, so it's waiting for your prospect on their return - now wouldn't that be impressive!

2.Include a tag on the envelope or in the e-mail subject line.

Your organization's name and the name of the conference on the outside of the envelope, or in the e-mail subject line, will help differentiate your letter from junk mail.

3.Make it easy your prospects to take the next step.

Make sure your literature packages make responding easy for prospects by including your web address and information on the opportunities available to them. Remind them of any "Trade Show specials" (and suggest you're doing them a favor by extending a time-limited offer...). Always start any communication with, "It was good to meet you at this year's XXX Trade Show" (no, not that kind of Trade Show...).

4.Keep track of your prospects.

Nothing highlights the success of your Trade Show effort better than having prospects purchase your products. Keep a record of the customers who found out about your products through the Trade Show. If you're using a CRM to track your prospects (please say you are...), then tag them with an appropriate Look Up word for the Trade Show. Use these results to demonstrate the show's return on investment.

5.Send out any "Thank You's".

Just like you're Mother always said, you should send a brief "Thank You" to anyone that helped make your Trade Show a success. Always include the Event Co-ordinators, Hotel staff, Convention Center personnel, etc., etc. It doesn't cost a thing (especially if you bulk e-mail...) and it just may make the difference next year when you're begging them for an extension cord or something.

6.Analyze "lessons learned".

After each show, do a debriefing. Evaluate what went well, what didn't, and what could be improved for next time. Critique each aspect of the show and ask others for comments. Keep it real - don't suggest "better weather" for next year. Pay special attention to feedback regarding communication to prospective customers. The "lessons learned" will help improve your efforts for future Trade Shows.

7.What was the score, anyway?

Remember Point #3 and #4 from the Before list? (You didn't think there'd be a test, did you?). It was "Identify your goals", and "Define measurements of success". So, okay, did you meet or exceed your goals? If not, why not?

8.Make a decision for next year.

You should quickly reach a decision as to the value of the last Trade Show, and whether or not you should attend next year's show. If it's a "go", book that more favorable booth location early, and designate who is in charge of putting next year's Trade Show together. Maybe you want to change hotels, as well, to get closer to (or farther from!) all the action.

9.Knowledge is power.

Keep track of all this Trade Show information in a spreadsheet or simple database. By recording things like number of attendees, number of leads, total costs, deals closed, amount of sales, etc., you can make informed decisions in the future about the value of individual Trade Shows, or what works or doesn't work for your company. What was the ROI?

10.It's never too early to start again.

Take time to research all the valuable information on the web regarding Marketing in general, but specifically Trade Shows. One of my favorites is Susan Friedmann, "The Trade Show Coach. Do a bit of research, and enjoy your next Trade Show!
Top Searches on
Sales
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Sales