4 Steps to Sales Lead Generation Success at Your Next Trade Show

Trade shows can be a waste of time if you don’t plan properly

Trade shows present the perfect opportunity to merge your online and offline marketing campaigns to generate leads. They also can play an important part in your event marketing program because they offer the main benefits of being a meeting ground with your target audience face-to-face and a way to build relationships with potential and existing customers. But how can you make the most of your next trade show to generate leads? Learn this four-step process to get prospective clients from trade shows.

1. Create Attraction

When you’re planning to attend a trade show, you want to make sure your audience is aware of where you will be and when the event takes place. You can attract your audience to the event by taking a hold of your inbound marketing campaign and devising a strategy to utilize a variety of pull marketing avenues, such as content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), social media, emails, shareable videos and blog posts. Make sure your booth location is listed on all of your content. You can also reach out to past attendees or existing customers and make appointments weeks in advance of the event.

2. Offer Value

When you offer your show attendees value, you can gain their interest and build their trust. There are several ways you can offer value, such as interviewing an expert in the field that may have used your service or product or providing brochures or pamphlets that educate your leads on your product or service. You can also add value to your potential customers by offering incentives, such as giveaways, contests or games. These actions provide insight and demonstrate thought leadership within your industry.

3. Collect Information

Without having a way to capture the contact information of your leads, your trade show event marketing efforts can go in vain. Make sure you collect contact information from your leads by implementing high-tech methods, such as scanning badges with barcodes to automatically gather lead data or low-tech methods, such as a bowl of business cards for a raffle.

4. Monitor Results

After the event, it’s important to observe the effectiveness of your efforts by monitoring the results. Evaluate the cost of the event per the amount of leads generated and track how many of the leads transform into customers. Follow up with your leads to build and sustain the relationship.

Final Thoughts

The next time you head to a trade show, ensure that you’re taking the necessary steps to attract your target audience by offering them value. Taking these steps allows you to collect valuable data that can help you merge your online and offline marketing campaigns and convert leads into sales. What trade show tips work for you or your brand?

Charlie Riley is a marketing, business development and communications professional with experience across multiple industries. Follow Charlie on Twitter at @charlieriley.