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Trade Show Lead Follow-Up Matters

So, you’ve made it through the trade show show and returned to your office, anxiously looking forward  to diving into the qualified leads your booth staffers generated at the show.

But wait, whats that other pile on your desk? You know, the one that is on fire and now behind schedule. Because you were at a trade show things piled up and the requests from your boss, your staff and your clients take priority. Exercise caution. The golden leads you just gathered  get set aside and unfortunately, too often, eventually buried.

Businessman working at deskThen one of three things happen: 1) the leads get shoved aside until out of sight, out of mind becomes your excuse; 2) Eventually, to lessen your guilt for not following up, you do a generic e-mail blast that effectively negates the benefit of the personal interaction that happened at the show; or 3) you buckle down and do it right!  For the sake of your business, reputation, clients, and your ROI, choose to do it right. Here are a few tips:

  • Have a post-show lead management plan in place before the show.
  • Schedule your first day back in the office as if you were still at the show, giving yourself time for proper follow-up and internally disseminating leads.
  • Be sure your lead card or lead retrieval system has a methodology to flag timely or hot prospects so you can follow up with those first.
  • Understand the correlation between lead management and measuring the return on investment on your company’s objectives.
  • Your lead management plan should include assigning responsibility for at-show handling of the leads, database entry, dissemination/delegation/distribution of leads.
  • Your plan should also include monitoring what happened to the show-generated leads once turned over to those responsible for further qualifying and/or sales follow-up.

If you want to vastly increase the value of your trade show program, follow-up matters!


To make sure your sales team has all the information they need for effective followup, read the Better Booth Staffing for Greater Trade Show Results book. The ideas and advice in this book will equip your staffers with the right knowledge and skills to staff successfully. Click here for your free copy. 


About the Author

Steve Hoffman, President of Skyline Exhibits & Design, Inc. has spent almost 30 years in the selling and marketing of marketing products. Following a successful career in the TV Program Syndication business, he joined The Holt Group/Skyline Displays as a Marketing Consultant, then moved into management, ultimately purchasing a portion of that company. He is the author of "The Reality of B.S. (Big Sales...That Is)." Steve is dedicated to helping his South Carolina trade show displays clients achieve their worldwide exhibit marketing goals while improving their efficiencies, too.

3 responses to “Trade Show Lead Follow-Up Matters

  1. YES! Even after so many years in this industry it still amazes me how many trade show exhibitors do not properly follow up on their leads. We’ve posted a sample trade show lead management form on our web site here…
    Thanks for the post!

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