Getting the Most of Trade Show Connections

Trade shows are a great way to acquire industry-specific knowledge and tips.  They’re also a fantastic place to network.  Unfortunately, according to a recent SmallBizTrends article, 80% of trade-show connections receive no follow-up.  What an incredible waste of valuable leads!

But it doesn’t have to be that way!  With a little planning, you can ensure that you take advantage of all those connections you make at trade shows.  Here we share 3 of Timothy Carter’s tips as found in his SmallBizTrends article entitled “5 Trade Show Follow Up Strategies to Boost You to the Next Level.

1. Start follow up preparation before the trade show.  Be sure you have easy-access to all the materials you’ll use to record contacts: notepad, pen, lead forms, business-card holder.  In addition, be sure to have plenty of business cards to distribute yourself!  It also helps to have a code for classifying contacts.  Carter recommends “A” for very important, “B” for moderately important, and “C” for less important.

2. Keep leads organized throughout the trade show.  Carter suggests a simple way to organize your contacts.  Staple their business cards into a notebook or onto a lead form and then describe your interactions with them on that same page.  It’s important that you be able to remember these people, including specific details from your exchanges, later when following up.

3. Add leads to existing contact lists.  Once you return from the trade show, be sure to add your new leads into current contact lists, prioritizing your next interaction.  If you have a newsletter or an email list, be sure to add these contacts to those communications as well.

When attending a trade show, you want to ensure that you get as much from the experience as possible.  Following up on all the leads generated there is a great first step!

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Carter, Timothy.  “5 Trade Show Follow Up Strategies to Boost You to the Next Level.” 21 May 2014