Pack Expo Las Vegas Exhibitors: Getting your Best Return from the Show–Part II (Post-Show)

So…Pack Expo Las Vegas is officially “in the books,” and it was a great exhibition. The attendance was higher than I originally anticipated and the number of exhibitors and wide array of technologies displayed was outstanding. Hats off to the PMMI for another good show!

As a past exhibitor, I remember the most common question I would get from other exhibitors—especially on the final day—was, “How was the show for you?” Usually, I’d come up with some nondescript answer like, “Oh, we had a lot of good activity,” or “I think we got quite a few good leads.” Fact is, many colleagues I would speak to expressed that one of the main reasons for exhibiting was just to maintain a presence and connect with existing customers. May I suggest that if that is the mindset of your organization, you’re missing out on huge opportunities.

When it comes to show follow-up, one of the most challenging obstacles can be technology. While methods for capturing potential leads on the show floor have dramatically improved over the years, the process of getting them converted or imported into a usable form for the salesperson can still prove to be frustrating, and in some cases, time consuming without the right tools.

Regardless of your methods, I would suggest focusing on three primary aspects as it relates to follow-up after the exhibition:

  1. Lead Priority Assessment – Almost all organizations will have some way of prioritizing potential leads from booth visitors. Be sure to focus your efforts chronologically on the highest priority leads first.
  2. Timeliness – Depending upon the number of priority tiers your organization has assigned, the goal should be to follow-up with ALL of your top 2 or 3 tier leads within 2 weeks of the exhibition.
  3. Right Person, Right Communication – The leads given your highest rank of priority should be followed-up with a personal phone call by the appropriate salesperson. Depending upon resources and priority, it may be appropriate to follow-up with an email or call from support personnel on lower ranked leads.

When it comes to your final return on investment for trade shows, I can only provide you with my past experience. Regardless of the incredible technologies we exhibited and the overwhelming attendance experienced, our success or failure in past shows with regards to ROI hinged solely on how well our organization executed on our follow-up plan.