9. Keep a note
For most professional businesses, exhibitions and trade shows are far more about finding well-qualified prospects rather then necessarily finding buyers there and then. Your prime goal may then be to win repeat business – not just one-off sales. So capturing the details of those you meet, who show an interest of any sort, must be a prime goal to support your future marketing and promotion.
This requires real discipline when your stand is busy, and you can help yourself by designing a pro-forma enquiry sheet to record every live enquirer, even if you then do no more than say you will be back in touch. But do note what you have promised to do, before you turn to meet and greet your next visitor! (And if you are really busy, introduce your moderately warm prospects to your assistant, to take their details for you as you turn to your next visitors.)
10. Prepare for the follow-up…
After all the hard work of attending your trade show or exhibition, it is so tempting to pack up and go home, take a hot bath and rest your weary feet, and then deal with all the emails and post you have missed while you have been away!
But this is sheer folly. For most exhibitors, this is when the ‘real work’ starts, converting all those precious qualified leads into sales. So do prepare your standard follow-up contact-messages and literature in advance, set yourself a deadline to get these out within the next week?, and do make time for all those invaluable, top-priority follow-up calls?
(Do you want a horror-story? — from a small company I know who invested a fortune in exhibiting overseas for the first-time. The team came back, exhausted but exhilarated, with several hundreds of valuable leads. But they were completely unprepared to deal with them. They had nothing to send their enquirers, even to keep the pot warm, and never followed-up most of them. What a waste!)