Advice for the Booth Staffer: Even When the Show’s Over, It’s Not Over
Trade shows can be an exhausting experience, both physically and emotionally. Not only are you in an environment of constant sensory overload, but you are having a flood of interactions (all while being on your feet for about 10 hours a day).
When the show is officially over and the doors close for the last time, you can be forgiven for assuming that it's a great opportunity to relax and think about anything other than trade shows for a few days.
Sadly, you'd be mistaken. Even when the show’s over, the show’s not over for these critical reasons.
Immediately after the trade show ends, focus your energy on maintaining communications with all of the folks you've met at the show. A great in-person business opportunity cannot exist in a vacuum, so dive head first into following up with anyone and everyone as soon as possible.
Promised follow through fizzles
Create a communication timeline that allows you to make meaningful contact with your leads from the show and supports your company's overall strategic marketing plan. Think about the three Rs: the Right way to contact the Right person at the Right time. Some people will need a phone call, while others may just be waiting for a targeted piece of direct mail. Some will require immediate and specific follow-up, others longer term nurturing.
Note that getting started on this right away also gives you a template to follow in the run-up to the next show, too. Once your timeline is in place, you can start making plans for how you're going to connect with people before the next show takes place.
Lessons learned are forgotten
Organize all of your contacts into your CRM and don't be afraid to separate things out based on type — this type of granular attention-to-detail is very welcome. There is nothing too small to write down — from how long you spent talking to what you talked about. Even after you've made your initial follow-up, stay in contact to share company announcements, media mentions and other bits of relevant info.
Just because a lead is at the bottom of your list doesn't mean they're not important. ALL leads are essential and ALL should be nurtured, it's just that some will take more priority than others. Go through your list from top to bottom and follow through on all of the promises you made.