Generating and connecting with leads are among the top priorities and most common struggles for development teams today. Often, the issue lies in a lack of strategy or target. Development teams go wide and hard, yet come up short.
One way to yield better results is through targeting lead segments with specific Tactic Groups. These are segments of your development targets, coupled with tested and perfected outreach content and methodologies for each segment. Examples include location proximity for clients in the same physical area as your business, lost opportunities and previous customers, and tradeshow appointments.
Today we’ll focus on that third Tactic Group: tradeshow appointments. Many businesses employ this development tactic, but few manage to tap into its potential. The key is to do more than just show up to gain ROI from a tradeshow.
Pre-Event Prep: Research and Reach Out
Start by educating yourself on who’s attending the event. Attendee lists are usually available online, but they may not have all the info you need. Use a data partner to get a solid buyer profile and contact info so you can reach out. Do your own research as well, discovering how they’re involved with the event (i.e., as a speaker, hosting a session, attending specific sessions). The more personalized your messaging, the higher chance you’ll hear back.
Next, establish a messaging cadence coming up to the event. This can be tricky as you don’t want to reach out too early or too late. Generally, it’s best to make initial contact about three weeks before the event, once travel plans are finalized and schedules are set.
Your goal is to set up one-on-one meetings with each contact. Utilize the event schedule to identify breaks and propose times to meet. Be sure to offer options, identifying times to meet for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or drinks.
As with any effective outreach cadence, find a balance to stay top of mind without annoying your contact with communication. Start with an introduction email, establishing who you are and that you’d like to connect at the event. Follow-up a week later, forwarding the invite to non-opens via LinkedIn or leaving a message referencing your initial contact. Finally, do one last outreach a week before the event, creating some urgency for action (i.e., “Sales Success Summit is Almost Here!”).
During the Event: Chat and Capture
Though you have meetings set up, stay open to future connections during the event. Collect business cards and be sure to hand out your own. You never know who you’ll meet, so know your schedule well if you have a pop-up opportunity for a one-on-one session.
Have a plan on how to document the event as well. Take notes to use for a future blog or post-event email and take photos to share in your follow-up. Attendees are more likely to open your emails if you have photos, videos, or blog posts attached. Leverage social media to capture pictures or poignant quotes, using the event hashtag to help you find them later.
Post-Event Follow-Up: Relive and Remind
You should have a targeted pre and post-meeting messaging cadence for all those you’re in touch with around the event. Send a thank you, follow up on any lingering questions, and propose an opportunity to meet or talk more. Again, add in a link to a video or photos to increase your open rate.
As with your pre-event contact, stay in touch for about three weeks after the event. Reach out once a week for those three weeks, including to those you didn’t end up meeting. The goal is to keep the conversation going long after the lanyards are tossed out.
Increase Your Tradeshow ROI with NuGrowth Solutions
Our tradeshow package is just one of the many Tactic Groups we focus on here at NuGrowth. With an up to 30% increase in interest and meeting rates as compared to industry averages, we’re confident you’ll walk away with a significant ROI on your tradeshow investments.
Find out more on how NuGrowth Solutions can turn “hellos” into cashflow – contact us at 614.304.3916 or fill out our simple contact form.
Author: Sarah Deak
Sarah 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.