When the show is over, the tasks of lead generation appointment setting are only just halfway done. In many ways, the post-event phase of tradeshow marketing is among the most critical for the whole marketing and sales effort. This is where make-or-break moments for revenue- or customer-building occur in droves.
Without a clear prospect follow-up and lead management plan, most of these potential opportunities are destined to remain beyond your grasp.
Despite the move toward digital marketing that we’re seeing as of late, tradeshows still offer tremendous opportunities for B2B lead generation appointment setting campaigns in terms of quality prospects. As much as 42% of B2B marketers see live events as a primary source of high-quality leads while a dominant 90% of exhibitors surveyed plan to maintain or increase their budget allocation for tradeshow marketing in the next five years.
But, we do have to admit that the rules of the game are somewhat being rewritten. Event marketing has also seen its fair share of innovations, and tradeshow marketers need to rethink their strategies in light of these developments. Here are five tips you can try and apply in your upcoming event:
1. Optimize for mobile. With today’s marketing audience increasingly going mobile, it pays to make your tradeshow-related landing pages, content assets, online extensions, etc. easily accessible through mobile devices. Web forms such as opt-in fields should be made as mobile-friendly as possible in order to easily collect the information you’ll need to follow up with your prospects.
2. Display QR codes. Your booth should prominently display QR codes that lead event attendees and participants to relevant landing pages, social media channels, and other online resources via their mobile devices. By scanning your QR codes with their handheld devices, your tradeshow attendees can easily access pages that allow them to share information and insights that you can later leverage during the follow-up phase.
3. Recap via social channels. The basic idea behind following up with tradeshow prospects is to continue the conversation started during the event. Social media outlets are excellent platforms for re-engaging with attendees after the show. Event-related blog posts, discussion forums, groups, and communities are among your main points of connection to keep the conversation and ideas flowing.
4. Call them up. Although this idea has been around for ages, it still bears repeating especially in the context of content-based b2b telemarketing campaigns. This is a relatively newer avenue of the telemarketing art which focuses on engaging the contacts (in this case, tradeshow leads) in conversations centered on some relevant and value-added topic (e.g., a recap of your exhibit). This also means delivering the right content to the right audience (or segment) in your call lists.
5. Send follow-up emails. This is also a relatively old tradeshow follow-up tactic but one that requires a few subtle modifications to meet the changing channel dynamics. Your follow-up emails should be based on the lead nurturing model which keeps communications constantly open by sending relevant content to segments of the email contact list.
Tradeshow marketing is by no means an inexpensive channel, but the ROI potential normally associated with event marketing far outweighs the costs. That’s why, in order to achieve the optimal return on every tradeshow marketing dollar you spend, you need to have a plan that covers every event aspect from preparations all the way to follow-up.
Do you have some other innovative ideas on how to follow up tradeshow b2b leads?