Tradeshow marketing and failure to follow-up – Avoid these 3 common mistakes

Will your tradeshow marketing fail to deliver new business?

Spring in New Hampshire is almost here (after 2 more feet of snow melt, anyway).

And like baseball, many of you look forward to home and garden trade shows and expos.

If you’re a landscaper, builder, or provide any type of home related services, you might even get a booth so you can showcase your company and services to the public.

If you are, that’s great, because shows can be a cost effective way for qualified leads to find you!

Did you notice I said “can be” – not “is”?

It can be, but you gotta make it your mission to do a few simple things right.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of show exhibitors make these three fatal marketing mistakes. Will you?

Marketing Mistake Number 1:

Failure to offer your potential prospects something that interests them enough to give you their personal contact information in exchange.

Are you offering an irresistible free report or guide that has information to help them solve their problem? For example: If you’re a builder, you could offer a painter, you could offer a report titled “7 Questions You Must Ask Before Hiring a Painter” or “Why Using Low VOC Paint Can Save Money and Your Marriage”

Marketing Mistake Number 2:

Giving plenty of good stuff away –but not collecting people’s contact information. Smart marketers (all business owners should be marketers first) always get contact information from good prospects so they can build up a database to follow up with.  Always get a name, address, phone number, and e-mail address.

And the biggest mistake most trade show exhibitors make…

Marketing Mistake Number 3:

Offering a great give-away, getting all their contact information… but not following up with them after the show is over.

I’m amazed at how often I’ve gone to a show, expressed interest in a product, provided them with my information… and never ever heard a word from them. (This even happened to me at the Stratham Fair last year)

If you’re going to spend the time, money, and effort to exhibit at a show, an expo, a fair, or wherever…

Why wouldn’t you do whatever is necessary to maximize all of your efforts? It’s only common courtesy and smart business sense to follow up with people who gave you their names.

Look… I know you’ll be busy catching up on other things after the show, but to get the best ROI and response from a tradeshow, I recommend this process.

  • Within 48 hours of the end of the show, sort your leads into three piles… Serious-immediate need, Medium priority-maybe 3-6 months, and low priority.
  • Follow up with the serious prospects right away with a thank you card, phone call and letter, or brochure, thanking them for their interest and offering more help. They’ll also be more likely to remember you if you do this quickly.  Using Send Out Cards is perfect for this.
  • Send everybody in the other 2 categories a letter, brochure, or report within 3-4 days.
  • And for all of them – stay in touch on a regular monthly basis using direct mail, postcards, reports, and emails.
  • And always make sure your communications are relevant, personal, and consistent. You could offer show specials, or extend show discounts.

If you need help creating compelling reports or follow-up marketing materials to stay in touch with people who raised their hands to say “I’m interested”… then call me.

What are your thoughts?

If you want help with your marketing strategy, writing effective sales copy, have any comments, or have a marketing project you’d like help with, e-mail me or call me at 603-686-5140

If you need help with website design, writing SEO optimized web copy, email marketing, or other online marketing strategies, I can help!

To your marketing success!

Merrill Clark

Website and Marketing Copywriter

Join my discussion by leaving a comment below…

2 thoughts on “Tradeshow marketing and failure to follow-up – Avoid these 3 common mistakes

  1. Merrill Post author

    Thanks Kevin…

    Your post also has some valuable tips that I didn’t go discuss, such as goal setting, and the conveying the right message.

    And you’re absolutely right – without a plan or strategy – most exhibitors will just flush their money right down the toilet.


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