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A tradeshow can be a great way to expand your audience and source new leads. But if you don’t have a solid plan in place for what to do with those leads, you’ll find your leads are leading you – on a wild goose chase. That means wasted time, wasted money, and wasted energy. Here are 4 simple things you can do to ensure your exhibitor booth creates an ROI.

1. Figure Out How Tradeshows Fit Into Your Marketing Plan

There are two kinds of tradeshow exhibitors: Those that have a plan, and those that don’t. Exhibiting at a tradeshow is a great way to get in front of your ideal buyers, but without a strategy in place – without an understanding of how a tradeshow fit into your larger sales funnel and marketing plan – you’re wasting your time and money. Just showing up isn’t enough. If you want an ROI from trade shows, you need to know why you’re going to a trade show in the first place – and that means creating a marketing plan.

2. Tradeshow Lead Gen: Turn Booth Visitors Into Qualified Leads

So you’re getting lots of visitors at your booth – awesome! But what are you doing to plant the idea in their heads that they maybe want to buy from you someday? If you can give each visitor 1 actionable tip to solve one of their problems, it can pique their interest enough to get them into your funnel.

3. Boosting Engagement: Don’t Just Sit There!

Pic of Sue, Peta and Nicole at Social Media Marketing tradeshow
Networking at Social Media Marketing World

How many times have you been at a trade show, cruising the booths, only to see the exhibitors slouched in their chairs, staring at their phones? Do those exhibitors make YOU want to talk to them? Of course not. Because their body language is saying that they don’t want to talk to you.

Stand up. Smile. Make eye contact. Say hello. People are hard-wired to value human contact, so be human.

4. Tradeshow Follow Up: How You Get Leads to Buy

The tradeshow is over, and you came home with 100 leads. Now what?

Run them through a funnel

Your tradeshow leads might not be ready to buy just yet, but they definitely want to hear from you again. This is the “second date” stage of wooing your potential clients. Instead of jumping straight to the proposal (which is how you send your leads running in the opposite direction), try sending your leads valuable advice-driven content that solves their problems.