I recently attended an exhibition and as usual the conversation with exhibitors was “How the show was for you?”  and answers like “We did really well and we gave away so many brochures or business cards!” and with a large investment like that many exhibitors will go away happy and pack up their stand and look forward to coming back the following year and getting back to the day job.


However I am sure it is not surprise that research has long suggested that the majority of leads generated by trade shows never receive follow-up by the company representatives and it is estimated that only a ¼ of all exhibitors have a process to follow up lead and enquiries. The same rules should also apply to other networking events when we come away armed with a bundle of business cards.

We live in a an era of automated lead nurturing but just because we have the technology with which to hit every trade show or enquiry with the same tired email message instantly upon your return to the office doesn’t mean you should….

Below are a few tips to help with an effective trade show follow-up campaign and to address the other 90 percent of show leads and ensure that no other potentially qualified leads fall through the cracks.Have the campaign designed and ready to launch so that response emails can go out immediately upon leads entering the system as a prompt, professional and bespoke response is a great way to make your company stand out.

Using the same follow-up email to every show is the easiest way to get your message ignored and always identify the specific event by name, in the subject line and in the first paragraph.
By including a photo of your exhibition stand with interested prospects, can help remind attendees who your company is amongst the hundreds they talked to at the show.
Make your call to action very specific and avoid saying “to learn more” or “for more information.” ….Instead, provide the prospect specific, tangible options for engaging with your company: “download our free white paper,” “request a personal demo,” “watch our 3-minute overview video.”
Personalise each email with the name of the assigned company representative for that prospect and include their phone number and personal email at the end of the email. Someone who’s attended a tradeshow may be ready to contact sales directly and so please make it easy to do so.

Most importantly have a specific, tailored plan for ongoing nurturing to follow your initial follow-up email and so don’t just dump show leads into your marketing database or sign them up for your monthly newsletter indiscriminately.

At the very least you should telephone them and so that prospects don’t wait weeks until they next hear from you as this will ensure that you are one step ahead of your competition, get a measure of the success of the show and a sound return on investment from your sales leads.