Trade show outreach matters.
In our super-connected, digital age, in-person trade show events may seem old-fashioned and passé. Yet, they remain an effective business strategy, with 81% of B2B companies leveraging them to gain and convert leads. Meetings generated from events net an average of $1,294 per participant and the trade show industry generated over $13 billion in revenue in 2017.
These numbers show trade show outreach is alive and well, and something your company should leverage. But, how?
1. Know your audience
Before you sign up to attend an event, be sure you know who would attend and why. That means getting to know your audience and understanding why they’re attending the trade show. Determine what each audience segment hopes to gain from the event and how you can fulfill their needs.
2. Prep your team
Keep your whole team in the loop on your trade show outreach plan. Anyone attending the event should understand which audience segments are attending and how you plan to address their needs. Prep your team to know your product or service inside-out and have a pitch down pat should they need it.
3. Generate buzz
Get a web and social media campaign going to promote your attendance. Be sure to use the event hashtag when sharing on social. Using the hashtag not only lets potential customers know you’re attending the event, it also provides exposure to an untapped audience who will be following that specific tag.
4. Reach out to set meetings
Odds are one of your leads is attending the event. You’ll want to meet with them while you’re both there, and the best way to make that happen is to reach out beforehand to define a meeting day and time. In your email, focus on the event – do not make a pitch! If it feels right, you may make a pitch during your meeting, but the goal is to make another connection point and learn about them in a more casual environment.
5. See who else is there
Get a map of the event floor so you know who else will have a booth at the event. Plan to stop at some that may be of interest to your audience. You can even ask in your outreach email who else your contacts plan to visit. Spending time at these booths provides insight into what your customers need.
6. Be strategic in staffing
Have a job for each team member at the event. You need someone to engage passerby’s, someone to collect info and quickly qualify leads, and someone to talk in-depth with qualified leads or those seeking more info. Be sure all your bases are covered so you can capture every opportunity.
7. Create strategic content
The content you bring is critical to your trade show success. One essential piece you need is a one sheeter on your business that attendees can take with them. This page should be informative, succinct, and provide a way to contact you for next steps.
8. Have something worth seeing (and taking)
Along with quality takeaway content, you want content that will stop people. Whether it’s a physical product sample or client testimonial video, bring something to engage attendees and prompt questions. And, have something they can take with them beyond your business card. Popular giveaways include a product sample, stress ball, pen, or flash drive with your business info on it.
9. Collect data
Gather information on everything and anything. Bring a pen and pad to take notes on the people you meet, track the number of visitors to your booth, and record common questions among other pieces of information. After the event, follow up with your leads 2-3 days later and make note of responses. Each piece of data is vital to making your next trade show experience more successful than the last.
Perfect Your Trade Show Outreach with NuGrowth Accelerator
We’ve worked with numerous clients on their development efforts, and data collection and analysis is a common theme among any outreach method. Time and again, we encountered clients who struggle with collecting and analyzing outreach data to streamline their processes.
That’s why we’re introducing the NuGrowth Accelerator app for Salesforce®: an innovative business development tool to capture the right data for swift analysis and actionable optimization. With 14 built-in Go-to-Market strategies, list progressions, and insightful KPI reporting, Accelerator is the missing piece in your development process.
See how to gain 30% more meetings per trade show – contact us at 614.304.3917 to find out how Accelerator can help your business blow by industry standards.
Sarah Deak is a veteran copywriter and content strategist with NuGrowth Solutions. She likes to look for the unexpected angle and uses her background in education, business development, and marketing to create interesting and informative pieces to equip readers with actionable data