Generating new leads at industry conferences is never an easy prospect, even for veteran exhibitors. There are always other companies clamoring for attendee attention and it can be difficult to stand out. However, despite these challenges, trade shows remain crucial to growing your business. Improving results requires you to find event solutions that make the trade show environment work for you.
Choose the right shows to attend
Not all conferences are created equal, and the composition of the audience can have a large impact on your success. Forbes stated that it is just as important to choose the right show as it is to develop effective displays. Large conferences can mean a lot of exposure, but you are also competing with more exhibitors, while smaller conferences may provide chances to build new connections that prove essential to future growth.
Expand your network
You never know where a great lead will come from, so make opportunities to expand your network at trade shows. Developing friendships and professional relationships with people throughout the industry can help you cultivate leads and strengthen ties to potential customers. During this process, be sure to look long-term, as strong relationships will pay dividends down the road if properly supported.
Research the industry
While holding conversations with other professionals, be sure to take the time to learn more about the industry. Asking the right questions can help you identify trends or problems that others are facing, and this information will let you make adjustments to business strategies. Further conversations may reveal that there are new needs within the industry that are not being met. Similarly, speaking to attendees to learn what they want to see could move your company in new directions.
Follow up on potential leads
Few companies are able to close a sale at a trade show. In fact, it is much more likely that they identify high-quality leads that need to be nurtured. Moving these potential customers along the sales path requires an effective follow-up strategy, which means that your job is not done once the trade show is over. Badge scanners and other data collection tools can give you a database of potential clients, but be sure to note how each person would like to receive follow-up information. Some people may want to be contacted via email, while others would prefer a phone call.
Once you have the basic foundation for your business established, trade shows are a great place to build brand recognition and cultivate positive relationships with others in your industry.