No Prospect Left Behind

Jen Borucki | April 29, 2016

Months and months of effort may go into planning an impactful brand experience that creates the right exhibit design and messaging as well as pre-show strategy and in-booth engagement. But the truth is that the real work starts when the event is over.

After all, success is not just achieved when the number of qualified attendees exceeds the goals set. Success comes from having a post-show plan that helps move top prospects to the next level in the sales pipeline.

As with everything, careful planning will put you in the best position to ensure every lead receives considered post-show attention.

Did someone mention a post-show plan? Here are some great thought starters:

  • Follow-up is contingent on the quality of your lead database, so you need to develop sound, strategic lead capture policies that take into account the regulatory environment, including opt-in/opt-out requirements.
  • You can reduce errors by automating your data entry process as much as possible, establishing best practices for lead capture and training your staff to ensure your desired protocol is followed. Make every effort to ensure your list is well maintained on the back end as well.
  • Converting attendees to leads and leads to customers is not just the fortunate confluence of a great show experience and a productive conversation with a brand representative – it is the product of an ongoing conversation.
  • 41% of respondents in an independent survey say it’s important to keep conversations going throughout the entire year. That’s where a strong nurture campaign can make a real difference.
  • Taking advantage of social and digital technologies that incorporate key data points can provide you with a more relevant, personalized discussion both on-site and year-round.
  • It appears that only half of companies try to reach the vast majority of leads they receive on the show floor. That suggests that even the most eager attendee only will receive follow-up from half the exhibits they visited. There’s no ROI benefit to leaving viable leads to grow colder by the day.
  • One study suggests that 43% of companies don’t send out follow-up information until after the prospect has already made a purchase. So timely follow-up can be a key differentiator.

A carefully orchestrated communication plan should include a series of touches designed to turn an expressed interest into a sale. How many touches that prospect base needs can vary significantly, so don’t be afraid to test and see what makes the most sense for your company.

Relationships may begin the show floor, but there’s no reason to leave a single prospect behind once those show doors close. Your attendees deserve a great nurture campaign. Why not start planning today?

Jen Borucki, HMCC is a Marketing Communications Specialist for MG Design, a global full service experiential marketing partner with complete turnkey design, fabrication, marketing, service and labor offerings to successfully create experiences that enrich our clients, our team, our community and our world. In addition to answering your RFI/RFP questions, Jen also provides copywriting services through MG’s internal marketing services agency, magnify™.