I’ve attended a lot of trade shows over the last 15 years. I’ve shown up to some trade shows ready, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and I’ve also shown up with very little preparation and energy. Showing up unprepared definitely impacted the quantity and quality of sales and interest in whatever I was promoting at the time.
Trade shows can be a great way to expand your audience and source new leads. If you don’t have a solid plan for what to do with those leads, you’ll find your leads are leading you – on a wild goose chase. That means wasted time, wasted money, and wasted energy. I’ve compiled a list of 4 simple things you can do to ensure your exhibitor booth creates an ROI as a small business owner.
Figure Out How Trade Shows Fit Into Your Marketing Plan
There are two kinds of trade show exhibitors: Those with a plan and those without. Exhibiting at a trade show is a great way to get in front of your ideal buyers. Still, without a strategy in place – without an understanding of how trade shows fit into your larger sales funnel and marketing plan – you’re wasting your time and money. Just showing up isn’t enough. If you want an ROI from trade shows, you need to know why you’re going to a trade show in the first place – and that means creating a marketing plan.
Lead Gen: Turn Booth Visitors Into Qualified Leads
So you’re getting lots of visitors at your booth – awesome! But what are you doing to plant the idea in their heads that they may want to buy from you someday? Suppose you can give each visitor 1 actionable tip to solve one of their problems. In that case, it can pique their interest enough to get them into your funnel.
Boosting Engagement: Don’t Just Sit There!
How many times have you been at a trade show, cruising the booths, only to see the exhibitors slumped in their chairs, staring at their phones? Do those exhibitors make YOU want to talk to them? Of course not. Because their body language is saying that they don’t want to talk to you.
Stand up. Smile. Make eye contact. Say hello. People are hard-wired to value human connection, so be human.
Following Up: How You Get Leads to Buy
The trade show is over, and you came home with 100 leads. Now what?
Run them through a funnel.
Your trade show leads might not be ready to buy just yet, but they definitely want to hear from you again. This is the “second date” stage of wooing your potential clients. Instead of jumping straight to the proposal (which is how you send your leads running in the opposite direction), try sending them valuable advice-driven content that solves their problems.
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About Sue Ross Consulting
I am a business operations consultant who helps growing businesses find sustainable ways to scale. Contact me today to discover how you can grow your business without the chaos & headache.