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How to follow up trade show contacts for more ROI

The world may still be recovering from a recession, but businesses have remained keen to organize trade shows in order to showcase their wares and network with potential clients or suppliers. Indeed, technology-based shows seem especially popular thanks to increased connectivity and a proliferation of new gadgets.

However, many firms may be wasting their time at the shows they organise because they are not following up on the leads made. Indeed, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research often quotes a statistic suggesting that as many as 80 per cent of leads made at such shows are never chased up afterwards, which potentially means a lot of lost business.

It is always a good idea to plan ahead when it comes to B2B lead generation. Here, we propose a 5-step approach to lead generation for events:

1)      Have a proper registration and tracking mechanism

Plan early on what information you need for a proper lead-generation follow-up. Follow that up by designing your registration workflow and form fields based on your event information needs so that the relevant audience information (such as the track that they are attending) are captured.

Design your registration workflow
Design your registration workflow with your lead generation campaign in mind

 

2)      Segment your audience

Once you have built your registration workflow, you can then better segment your audience to help in your follow-up. Build your audience segments into mailable lists, so that subsequent communications are tailored based on their profile and interest.

 

Segment your audience into mailable lists

Segment your audience into mailable lists

 

3)      Reach out to your audience at various levels

After segmenting your audience into mailable lists, you can then customize your follow-up based on the audience profile. For example, your post-event follow-up email to those who attended Track 1 will be based on content and downloadable links that are relevant to that particular track, with showcase of the sponsor logos pertaining to that track only.

4)      Not present? We missed you!

Often, follow-up and thank you emails are sent to those who turned up. But how about those who didn’t manage to show up for the event? You can easily define this list upfront as well (by building a list with check-in=“blank”) and pre-schedule a “We missed you” email to those who missed the event. The additional exposure for your exhibitors and sponsors with links to relevant content would definitely help in broadening the lead generation target base.

5)      Remember to re-target non-opened emails

Email retargeting those who did not respond to your original email will help to boost your overall open and click-through rate to as much as beyond 50%. The key is to change the subject title of your email with a slight tweak in your email content where needed. This will help your overall numbers and ultimately, increase your lead generation numbers. You can then group your audience based on email campaigns opened or links clicked for further segmentation.

Events ROI is getting more challenging so having a proper mechanism for leads follow-up is getting more critical than ever.

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