The trade show is over. Time to tear down your booth, pack everything up and hit the next flight home...right? Not so fast. You’ve spent all of this money to attend this event, setup countless displays, train your team for this specific show, ship materials, paid for flights, taxis, food and hotels for each of your employees. AND through all of that investment, you’ve likely pushed the needle on some key accounts that you had hoped to close at the trade show. What’s one more email, text, phone call, dinner out, nightcap or hotel stay?
Few forms of marketing afford the same opportunity to meet with so many high-quality leads, all under one roof. This is why trade-show marketing doesn’t stop when the event itself does. Rather, by executing a few closing techniques, you can extend this opportunity and maximize your trade show ROI.
Provide value for trade show attendees
Your competitors, or even other brands at the event trying to occupy your lead’s budget, likely understand the importance of event closing techniques. This means that your lead’s phone will be buzzing with notifications, trying to demand his/her attention. One way you can stand out is by offering something valuable to your lead(s).
It can be something as simple as takeaways from the event, or a starbucks eCard that they can use right away at the airport. After grinding through a very Me, Me, Me event, this could be a tremendously effective way to stay top of mind for high priority leads.
Invite key leads to a post-show outing
You should have a priority list heading into and throughout the trade show for key leads that you have yet to close. You may want to target your top one or two leads, or as many leads as you have trade show staff and invite them out for drinks and/or food before they head off to their next destination.
With the constant buzz of trade shows, you may not have had the quality one-on-one time that you need to close a large account. By inviting leads that are more high-touch to an evening out, you give your sales team hours, rather than minutes, to close the deal.
This isn’t just one of those old-fashioned closing techniques. If you have a more modern/younger lead, you can modify this approach by taking the lead geocaching or catching Pokemon. Find unique ways to peak each lead’s interest and get some quality one-on-one time to usher them through your sales funnel.
Email, follow-up email, follow-up to follow-up emails
You should have a strategy heading into every trade show that leans heavily on a thorough follow-up email campaign. Any and all significant interactions that your team conducted at the event should be recorded into a database. Whether you use a templated response with a little personalization to it, or a unique email, every lead should be hearing from you in the hours and days following the event. This maximizes the investment you’ve placed into attending this event by extending the sales opportunity beyond the booth.
Each lead should be placed in buckets that correspond to their unique needs and placement along the buying process. This will allow you to send emails that are highly relevant to each lead that encourages them to take that next step.
SMYKM (Show Me You Know Me)
In every interaction you have with leads following a trade show, you should demonstrate a high degree of personalization in how you communicate with them. This will bolster any closing techniques you implement post-show.
For new leads, you may want to conduct some preliminary research. For active leads, you may want to jot down notes if you’re worried about forgetting key details.
When you go to send your follow-up email, drop in a line about something you found particularly interesting or humorous from your recent conversation. Ask about a family member by name or bring up their alma mater.
By coming into each event with these closing techniques in mind, you can plan ahead of time by researching your leads, creating email strategies and looking into the area’s attractions to make the most of your team’s pivotal post-show performances.