Hot Tactics for Your Next Trade Show from Top Marketing Experts featured in Digital Studio Magazine

Just in time for your next trade show, Digital Studio Magazine features 6 leading marketing experts and the effective tactics they use in their marketing strategies. You’ll want to check out each of their brilliance to enhance your own marketing strategy throughout their featured articles in The Marketing Wizards of M&E issue of the magazine.

Here’s a quick teaser of some of the topics covered in conversation with the featured marketing trailblazers:

  • Sanjay Kirimanjeshwar at Amagi Corporation tells how to stand out in the market. 
  • Shilpa Sharma at Experience Commerce has to say about how to use an unwavering focus on value in marketing. 
  • Bart De Moor at ST Engineering iDirect reveals how they leverage customer feedback. 
  • Amit Daftary and Pranav Malasi at ARK Infosolutions Pvt. Ltd. get into marketing synergy and creativity. 
  • And yours truly at Kokoro Marketing talks about the benefits of leveraging systems such as marketing automation and a proven marketing framework

In my interview for Digital Studio Magazine, I talk about one of the most important marketing framework basics, which is lead follow-up. It is one of my favorite of the 7 Marketing Basics I focus on in my book and course:

“One challenge I see frequently is lead follow-up after trade shows. When you come back from a trade show, you have dozens, hundreds, or thousands of leads. What do you do next? Do you send a thank you email and then just hand the leads to your sales team? Or make one quick call yourself, then hope for the best? That’s exactly what a lot of companies do and it breaks my heart! It’s leaving money on the table.”

If you have a trade show coming up, here are some tactics from the Kokoro playbook you can implement now to ready yourself for success before, during, and after your next trade show:

Before the Show

Think about who you want to be there. Imagine the handful of people that if you saw them, you would feel like the show was a wild success and your work there is done. Make a list of those people and have it ready to go. You can do this with my Dream 100 Plan free template. Get it to guide you to make your list right now by texting DREAM to (530) 203-5703.

You’ll also want to prepare for success after the show. So keep reading to find out what steps you can take beforehand to ensure the ball continues rolling after the show ends.

At the Show

Once you’re at the show, it’s time to use your Dream 100 list to start some sales conversations! That could look like sending them an SMS text message to see if they’re at the show. You could send out some messages on LinkedIn. You could even record a short video of you in front of the building or at your booth to post on your page or include in your messages (which may also come in handy later). See how many meetings you can get set up while you’re there! 

Also, and this is a biggie… make sure to take a photo when you get to the show that you’ll use after. This quick to-do can be easy to put off or forget about entirely once you’re fully engaged, so you’ll want to do it as soon as possible after you arrive to make sure it gets done. This can be a photo of you at your booth or with your team. Even snapping a few behind the scenes shots during setup can really come in handy and people surprisingly love those.

After the Show

One of the most important but commonly missed opportunities is in effective follow-up after the show. So you’ll want to make sure you have a plan, and it can be a simple one! The important thing is that you have one and it’s decided on beforehand. At the very least, you’ll want to have an email or two ready to go for your post-show follow-up. 

For the first one, plan to send it out on the last day or shortly after the show ends. Make sure it includes some version of “great to see you,” a photo you took during the show, and some helpful resources to keep the conversation going. Make it short and sweet and let them know you’ll be following up soon as promised.

Another great tactic is to segment your list by interest so you can target your new prospects most effectively. This could include the top two or three products, or categories of products, you sell, and an “other” category for the rest. And of course, you’ll want to also segment by how “hot” they are based on what’s coming up for them and their budget.

Your second email, or set of emails, will be tailored to the segments you’ve decided on. This communication will be based on their interests and what they’re going to be most excited to hear more about after the show. This email will also include a clear call to action to invite them to take the next step with you. This can be anything that is easy for them to say YES to, like downloading a free trial or scheduling a call with you.

This is baseline to get you going in the right direction with the basics, but feel free to add whatever else makes sense for you. Maybe you also plan to send a text to your hottest leads, or send an email to those that couldn’t make it with the video you took while you were at the show. Whatever you decide to do, make a plan now and stick to it.

Rinse and Repeat

“Of course we want personalized follow-up and for most of us we want to pick up the phone and call. That said, one of the most amazing things ever is to have an automated, reliable, consistent follow-up system in place that does the work even when we forget or when we get to busy. And it works in parallel with any existing sales process you have in place. The fortune really is in the follow-up system!”

Once you’ve made a plan and executed it at one trade show, you can iterate it for every other trade show you go to moving forward. Just tweak a few things to make it relevant for the next show and to showcase your newest products and you’re good to go, with results over and over again.

Check out the rest of the interview in my featured article and many more brilliant tactics from fellow marketing wizards in the The Marketing Wizards of M&E issue of Digital Studio magazine to make a solid marketing plan for your next trade show and beyond using expert strategies of industry leaders to never again let a single opportunity fall through the cracks.