Turning Booth Visitors into Leads Pt.1

The driving factor behind exhibiting at a trade show is to generate new business for your company. According to the attendance survey done by Exhibit Surveys, 80% of trade show attendees either recommend or handle purchasing for their companies, and 47% of them are looking to buy within the year. While those numbers are good, considering the cost of exhibiting and having your competitors sharing the show floor, you cannot afford to waste the opportunity to show off for potential clientele.

Pre-Selling Yourself

Winning over attendees to your company shouldn’t start with the first day of the tradeshow. The sooner visitors know who you are, where you are, and what you offer, the better your chances in earning their business will be. A good way to start off your trade show campaign is by utilizing direct mailings. Usually, your event organizer can provide a list of people who plan on attending the show and their contact information. Here are a few tips to help your mailer stand out from bills, junk mail, and what not:

  • Sort out your target audience from the list of attendees
  • Tie your mailer theme into your display design
  • Tease people with what will be at your booth, make them want to come see you
  • Tell about a special offer at your booth: a contest, a product demonstration, a guest speaker
  • Include a small promotional item to tie in with another at your booth: i.e., pen in mail, notepad at booth
  • Make your mailer noticeable with an unusual size or shape

You will also want to rehearse the pitch you will be giving to attendees as they meet with you at your booth. On average, you will have 30 seconds to pique the interest of the people you will talk to, so don’t waste time on useless information. You will also never want to be caught off guard by not knowing what to say next. To avoid the dreaded “ummm” word, here are some ideas for what you and your staff should be versed in:

  • What sets your company apart from the competition?
  • What are some examples of how you’ve helped clients’ needs in the past?
  • Are there any new services or products you are showcasing at this event?
  • How do you handle and solve customers’ issues and problems?

Also, it’s a good idea to plan ahead of time how you want to collect visitor’s contact information. Since you don’t want to be stuck relying on your staff’s memory, here are a few options you can use:

  • Write a short survey asking open ended questions that key you in on what a lead wants and how your business can help that lead’s needs
  • Create a Lead Card to gather detailed information about contacts
  • Collect business cards, either by hand or by means of a drop box
  • Rent or buy a scanner to electronically collect data from attendees’ ID badges

Drop by Wednesday to read about helpful in-show tactics.

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