Show – Evaluation and follow up
that the "trade show" is over, the excitement has
worn down and the feet feel like they are going to fall off –
What NOW! Trade
show evaluation and follow up are areas where many businesses fail
for a couple of reasons:
Business fires are burning, nobody has been handling the
mess that is accumulating, normal phone calls need to be returned,
employees have questions and problems that need to be resolved,
the bookwork is lagging, and generally… the whole place is
There is an automatic assumption that all those people that
you met at the trade show will call YOU because YOU left THEM with
a brochure and they are certain to remember YOU!
of number one above, there will be some catch up to do after the trade
nothing you can do about that.
But what you can do is to prioritize your post-trade show
good rule of thumb is to first take care of issues that are
mission critical and could cause you long term company problems
like bank, government, and employee issues.
deal with issues that have come up with current customers while
you were at the trade show.
Do NOT sacrifice existing customers for potential new
are the money in the bag.
New customers are just a hope.
put all non-critical functions aside and start your tradeshow
a list of everything that you came home with from the trade
you remember remarks that you need to think of later, write them
your functions, get a bit of feedback from those who were in
attendance with you, and start to sort out your contacts.
show lead ROI (return on investment)
trade show follow up process should be planned just as well
as your pre-trade show planning if not better.
Consider that each trade show lead has a cost, one that you
have already spent.
If you spent $5,000 on the show and came away with 500
leads, then every lead cost you $10.
If on average, you convert 25%, then each new customer
costs you $50 to get.
As far as customer acquisition costs are concerned,
that’s not too bad.
Most service companies can make this up in the first few
hours of service.
the other hand, if you don’t manage your trade show leads and
75% of them never get a phone call back or don’t get it within a
week, your conversion costs you 4 times as much… or $200 per
trade show leads
you’ve done the trade show properly, you should have
notes about certain hot prospects and what they want, connections
that you’ve made, and important things to do.
these from the rest of the leads and start with these first.
If you have indeed made that connection at the trade show,
you will likely be remembered the next day.
If you intersperse these with every other lead and don’t
get back to it for a few days, you will likely be forgotten or
your competition from the trade show will have gotten there first.
are the two things that most trade show exhibitors forget.
Not all leads can or should be followed up on the same way
(prioritize them), and do it all immediately.
If you wait a week to call, when you do introduce yourself,
the initial response from the customer is most likely to be
happens if a trade show gives you too many leads?
That’s a nice problem to have, yet getting back to 500
people will take some time.
You still want to touch base however, to preserve as much
business opportunity as possible.
Consider the letter follow up approach.
Print off the contact names of those you’ve collected and
who are on the back of the priority list, and shoot off a letter
using an integrated system like in MS Word, you can turn out a
pretty nice personalized letter by pulling the name of the person
into a field on the letter.
Take a couple of hours of time and go through and
personally sign each one before mailing them.
You might tell the reader that you will be in contact in
the next couple of weeks, but if they need you first, to not
hesitate to call.
trade show follow up approach
you will have to figure out exactly what it is that you want from
your follow up.
In most cases, it would be good to get that follow up
talking to the family is reasonable and they are part of the
decision processes, try to get them involved as well.
The more decision makers you can get together, the easier
it will be to convert it into a sale.
person has their own closing style however.
If getting the door is what you do best, do that.
Just keep it all in motion.
Trade shows rarely present you with the opportunity to
close personal services business.
However, they are great at breaking personal barriers and
getting you to the first step.
some time, you should be able to call the effects of the trade
show complete. This is when you have exhausted all leads and
closed all the business that you can that has resulted directly
from the trade show itself. If you have kept good records of
this activity, you should now be able to go back and evaluate the
effects of this particular show. After all, if you are going
to put this much work and money into anything, you want to make
sure that it's worth the bother and the expense.
your ROI (return on investment) is one of the ways to measure your
success, you should always consider the other benefits as
well. The benefits of a trade show should be financial, but
they can also include establishing your brand, community awareness
of your existence, educating the public, building new
relationships and alliances with other businesses. You will
have to do your own analysis on these non-monetary benefits.
up with costs is probably one of the easiest parts of doing your
trade show analysis. This is an important step in
determining whether the cost was worth the investment.
much business did you close?
is the monetary benefit of that business? You should measure
in one-month, three-months, six-months, and twelve-month
increments when looking at the value of the business.
regard to services, if you have made your investment back in new
business in the first month, you've done reasonably well. At
the very least, you should have made your money back plus 50% by
the end of 3 months.
six and twelve month measurements are to determine the long range
profitability of any given trade show. At some point, you
have to determine that you cannot participate in every show that
comes along. Therefore, it is imperative that you determine
over the long run, which trade shows give you the best performance
that you can build your long term business goals on.