Alexis Exhibits

How To Make Tradeshow Booth Leads Truly Valuable


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Why are sales leads collected at tradeshow exhibits viewed as having very little real value by management and the sales staff? Why are 75% of tradeshow leads never followed up? Since most sales organizations are composed of aggressive, proactive, money motivated, commissioned sales people, it just doesn’t seem to make sense.

Gathering Sales Leads With Value at your Tradeshow

custom_design_trade_lead_caSo, what is the biggest problem with tradeshow leads? In my experience: Tradeshow leads are difficult to follow up effectively.

If you consider the impersonal nature of taking leads at a show, it only makes sense. Attendees are given a magnetic striped card that is scanned when they come to the tradeshow display. This automatically provides an exhibitor with basic information about the prospect – name, title, company, address, email, phone etc. Most lead retrieval units also provide an opportunity to categorize the lead – “hot lead, contact immediately” or “send information only.” While this is an efficient means of collecting information at a tradeshow booth, it provides very little information to the salesperson who contacts the prospect after the show.

Your Leads are Human, not Barcodes – Custom Design your Tradeshow Lead Card

A much better way to assure effective follow-up is to design a lead card that asks a few targeted questions that will be important in post-tradeshow follow-up. When defining lead card questions, the best source of information is the people who will responsible for following up. Some ideas to consider:

  • What products are you most interested in?
  • Who are you currently purchasing this product from?
  • What problems do you have with your current supplier?
  • What could we do to earn your business?
Other helpful tips to keep in mind:
  • Keep the tradeshow lead card as short as possible and consider providing the prospects with a premium item as a reward for taking time to answer your questions.
  • Always swipe the attendee’s badge so that you have their basic information for follow-up.
  • Energize your booth staff by offering a prize to the person who collects the most completed lead cards each day.

Try this at your next tradeshow booth and you will notice an immediate increase in results.

Need help with your trade show strategy? Let’s talk.

Top Ten Tips – How to Work a Tradeshow Booth


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Your company has invested a great deal of money into a beautiful tradeshow exhibit and you’ve been selected to work the booth. How do you prepare yourself to make the most of this opportunity?

Here are some helpful tips:

  1. Create a preshow plan. Profile the type of prospect you wish to attract to better focus your efforts. Get a preregistration attendee list and contact as many of the suitable prospects as possible before the show. Extend a personal invitation to your tradeshow booth and give the attendee a reason to stop by – something new for them to see works well. You should contact any very important prospects to try to set up an appointment at the tradeshow.
  2. businessman_handshakeFamiliarize yourself with the entire convention agenda. Be aware of keynote speakers, educational sessions, and social events. Prioritize them and make sure to attend. Be prepared to discuss these sessions with prospects who come to the booth.
  3. Study the design of your exhibit. Read and understand the graphics. Have a plan for giving the prospects a quick tour of the booth and recording lead information for follow-up.
  4. Develop a plan to deal with current customers efficiently so that they do not monopolize precious prospecting time.
  5. Memorize a few greetings. Try not to ask questions that can be answered with a simple yes or no. Your goal should be to encourage the prospect to talk about themselves or their company so that you can tailor your presentation to their interests.
  6. Be approachable. Refrain from eating in the tradeshow booth, checking your Blackberry, or holding extended conversations with coworkers. It is human nature not to be rude and interrupt people and it will make your tradeshow exhibit seem uninviting.
  7. Be sure to have a disengagement line or two. The best one is “thanks for stopping by”, but if you are talking to an important prospect it might be better to say “where do we go from here?” or “how would you like me to follow up?”
  8. Take notes. There are so many people and so little time. Brief notes will help you to be more effective with your follow-up.
  9. Try to schedule breaks throughout the day to deal with voicemail, email, and just catch your breath. Remember, quality is more important than quantity.
  10. Follow up in a timely manner, meaning the next day. Don’t risk letting your prospect forget you.

Are you interested in exhibit management for your entire tradeshow program? Our exhibit management is based entirely on strategic planning. Contact us today if you are in need of trade show help.