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5 Steps to Establish Your Trade Show Lead Generation Plan

5stepsEvent marketing is one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience. It gives you an opportunity to create a memory in customers’ minds. It presents you with a way to meet customers and prospects face-to-face. Exhibiting with your trade show display offers you a chance to not only make direct sales, but to form relationships that will last for years to come.

By creating a lead generation program that turns prospects into customers, you can maximize on your exhibiting experience. Here are 5 steps to help:

#1 Identify Your Ideal Customer

Your target market is made up of people and businesses who have a challenge your products can solve. If you are attending a particular event, it is probably because it houses a large number of target prospects. Understand who your customer is and how you can appeal to them. Create a buyer persona for your ideal customer that includes age, gender, spending power, education, goals, and budget.

Take your time filling in those details. The profile, or persona, you create will help you to tailor your entire lead generation goals.

#2 Map Out Your Goals

You’re going to have different goals for different aspects of your trade show booth. For example, your graphics will be designed to stop attendees in their tracks and entice them to visit your booth. Your backwalls and tabletop displays should present your brand story and marketing message in a way that makes a lasting impression on visitors.

Concerning lead generation goals, set a daily goal for a number of qualified leads per day your team brings in. Also set a number for how many “A” leads you’d like to bring back from the show.

#3 Assign Post-Show Follow Up Tasks

Post-show follow up is crucial. The majority of your revenue is going to be generated after the event, when you and your sales team reach out to your qualified leads.

Lead follow up takes time and effort, so be sure to schedule time in your calendar for the first 3 days following the show to follow through on what was promised to each client. Follow up on leads starting from the most qualified to the least. Don’t make your hot leads wait to hear from you for more than a few days after the show.

#4 Show Your Staff How to Qualify Visitors

Not every booth staffer is a born salesman, and they don’t have to be. Provide adequate training and expectations so that each staffer. Make that training a part of your lead generation program. Show your employees how to greet attendees and how to record proper information needed for the sales team. Advise them to listen to the customer’s needs more than anything, instead of pitching too early. Train them to listen for insight into visitors’ budgets, urgency and decision-making ability.

#5 Strike While the Iron’s Hot

It’s crucial that you don’t let too much time pass after the event before connecting with the people you met there. Leads get cold quickly. Follow through on the action items and promises you made.


About the Author

Larry Zollo is a recognized leader in the Trade Show Marketing industry. As the President at Skyline Exhibits & Graphics, he has over 30 years of expertise with trade show displays, exhibits, and booths in Connecticut. Larry has been the presenter or guest speaker at over 50 industry events. He believes that to make any marketing program successful, it is all about clear communication coupled with excitement and engagement. Sounds simple, right? “Gaining qualified leads and more sales at-bats for your sales team is always the goal”.

6 responses to “5 Steps to Establish Your Trade Show Lead Generation Plan

  1. Hello Larry,

    My company presents educational conferences that include exhibitors. I would like to post this article in its entirety on a landing page since the tips are very helpful. I would include your photo and biography as shown below the article as well as a link back to the original article. Is that okay with you?

    1. Hi Jerry,
      Thank you for reaching out, that is perfectly fine with us!
      We appreciate that you are willing to share our content with your exhibitors.
      I will also be contacting you to confirm.

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