5 Ways to Generate B2B Leads at Trade Shows
This article is written from the PR perspective but whether its from this industry perspective or any other marketing industry perspective the consensus is that a follow up phone call needs to occur after the trade show. Customers have hired IT’S YOUR CALL to follow up on the b2b leads they’ve generated at trade shows and we have always uncovered “hidden gems”. Not only will follow up secure permission for opt in mailing lists but also has the extra benefit of qualifying the prospects.
- Contact the Right People Weeks Before
Typically, a trade show will release a list of press members who are covering the show. This may include bloggers, influencers, and journalists.
While these contacts are not themselves leads, their audience is. One of the most important steps you can take to snag time with these influential people is to reach out to them by email at least several weeks before a show. Request that they stop by your booth, and if possible, schedule a time for them to do so. Remeber that media get jammed at trade shows so you want to be early enough for them to see you. If they are overscheduled or not attending the conference, not to worry. Offer them the opportunity to interview you in advance and embargo the interview till the show.
If you can, give them samples, a free trial, or a demo of your product or service. And don’t forget to provide background information or any helfpul collateral.
- Land a Speaking Engagement
Securing a speaking gig is a great way to generate more credibility around your brand, as well as yourself as a thought leader.
This isn’t always easy to do, so you must plan well in advance. Thought leadership begins with your owned media. In addition, once you have established credibility, you will have to submit an application to speak, likely months in advance. Here’s one tip to help get you in the door: Submit if you can with a customer. Trade shows are loaded with vendors eager to speak and you can differentiate yourself by presenting with a customer.
Landing a speaking engagement at a trade show is well worth the effort, as it will drive prospects, not only to your booth, but to your website since you will (with any luck) create a memorable presence.
- Establish Your Goals
Of course, the end game is always to turn strangers into buyers. However, the stage you’re at in your marketing game will largely determine your goals and means of achieving them.
If you’re a startup, you’re main mission at a trade show might be to create a buzz by handing out free swag. However, if you’re well-established, you might be aiming to launch a new product, or secure greater publicity.
Get your strategy in place by first determining your end game.
- Get Busy on Social Media
In the weeks and days that precede a trade event, you’ll want to create a buzz on social media. If your brand is launching a new product at a trade show, why not use Snapchat to reveal a hint of the product, mentioning that the full product will be unleashed at the upcoming trade show.
While you’re at the trade show, take full advantage of Facebook Liveto capture real-time highlights of the event.
- Follow Up
Want to know something a bit frightening? One statistic says:
“90% of trade show attendees received no follow-up within 12 months of their visit.”
If you want anything to come of your trade show experience, you must follow up. That means inputting new contacts into your CRM, reaching out via email or telephone, and asking for permission to add them to your email list.
Just think… if you can accomplish this one task that so few B2B companies are paying attention to, you’ll have the upper hand to win your prospects’ attention.