There are several reasons for a company to attend industry trade shows: from the possibility to accelerate the sales process, to networking, developing customer relationships, building brand awareness and much more. However, the main reason for a company to attend a trade show is the fact that these types of events are a lead generating heaven. Nonetheless, while your mere attendance will be enough to generate a few leads, if you really want to maximize this opportunity, you need to put in play some effective lead capturing tactics. Keep on reading to discover some proven strategies that are bound to maximize your lead capture efforts.
Put together a pre-show advertising strategy
No matter how much effort you put into designing a booth or a display that will get you noticed, you will have infinitely more chances to be seen if you connect with your prospects before the event. This is a great way to make the trade show leads feel special as if you were attending the event especially for them. So, a couple of months before the event, you should gather up your existing lead database and start booking appointments. When it comes to B2C events, email newsletters are the best way to reach your leads before an event, due to a large number of leads. In the B2C field, the lead volume is a lot smaller, so you could reach out to your contacts by phone to add a more personal touch to this interaction. It also helps if you analyze the companies that will be around your booth at the event, and maybe even talk to them about the products and the activities that they will have at the show. This will tell you what to expect from the event, and it is also a great way to make sure that there won’t be any conflicts concerning the activities that you and your neighbors will have at the show.
Design a welcoming booth
Everybody loves comfort, so if you want people to stop by your booth, you need to put some effort into creating a welcoming vibe. Keep your graphics clean and simple, make sure the booth is not crowded, and try to focus your display layout around a main focal point. It doesn’t hurt if you also invest in a lounge area, a welcoming space where your leads can interact with your team. Food and drinks are also a great way to make sure you attract a crowd that will stick around your booth.
Assemble a cross-functional team
At a trade show, you will need a team with experts from different fields. You will need marketers to design the trade show booth and continue the online promotions throughout the event, salespeople to greet and nurture the prospects, a business developer to analyze the market and get in contact with possible partners and so on. It is essential to have your best people on deck and to make sure that everyone understands their roles. This brings us to our next tip.
Create a team plan
You may choose your top employees when assembling your team for the trade show, but just because these people are good at their job, it doesn’t mean that they can also handle a trade show. Firstly, instruct your team on how to act on such an event. They must approach people pro-actively and show a positive body language (eye contact, smiles, no crossed arms or legs and so on). Moreover, you must instruct them on how to recognize qualified leads, and how to dismiss unqualified leads in a professional manner.
Use the right giveaways and attractions
For a visitor, there is nothing more unpleasant than going to an exhibition and being attacked with leaflets. A simple hello is a far better way to break the ice, and leaflets should only be given to people who are really interested in additional information. The same goes for promotional items. Instead of cheap items that won’t serve any purpose, invest some money into some more interesting items and make your visitors work for them through competitions or prize draws. As far as attractions go, keep in mind that you are not running a circus. You need to plan attractions that have to do with your business, and the activity in question needs to be backed by a proper lead capturing strategy. For example, if you run a bar or a restaurant, it makes sense to have a bartender skill show, but after then you must also make sure that the audience that enjoyed the show is approached by your staff with an incentive (maybe a voucher) to actually visit your establishment.