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Trade shows are exhausting. There are no two ways about it. You spend months preparing for your big moment, you absolutely kill it at the trade show and now it’s 5pm on the last day and you have to wrap your head around how in the world you going to follow up with the 100’s of people you just met.


Being retail trade show vets ourselves we have put together a list of 6 tips for how to master your retail trade show follow up and remain top of mind with your leads.



#1. Separate yourself from the pack


Know that you’re going to be in a tangled web with hundreds of other vendors, all vying for the same goal post show.  In order to separate yourself from masses, don’t jump the gun and consider waiting a couple of extra days or maybe a couple of weeks before sending your follow-ups. This way your emails have a better chance of survival and won’t be buried in a stack of a 100 other emails.


When it comes to reconnecting with your leads, it doesn’t hurt to get creative. I know that can be easier said than done but try to think outside the box of traditional ways of communicating. Test out sending your lead a memento to remember you by. Could be something as simple as sending a dozen cupcakes to their office or gift cards to their local coffee shop.



#2. Avoid being generic in your trade show email follow ups


Everyone likes to feel special. Take that extra two minutes and make sure your subject line is personalized. Avoid genericized subject lines, particularly those that mention the name of the show (e.g. “Expo West Trade Show Follow Up”) Your prospects will be getting a LOT of those. If you really want to increase your likelihood of standing out in a crowd it helps to pick up the phone and call as well.


[tweet_this] When you’re sending out tons of emails post trade show it’s easy to get caught in a copy and paste mistake. [/tweet_this]


Watch out for gmail’s ‘remove formatting’ text editor. In Outlook,  even though you clear the formatting it still renders as if you have copied and pasted text. So even if you think you are getting away with copy and pasting to make an email personalized, make sure you run your text through a basic text editor first.



#3. Expand your lead horizons


If you never get a response from the person who visited your booth, but feel strong about the opportunity, consider reaching out to someone else in the organization.  If there a vendor shared list, make use of this!



#4. Experiment with social re-targeting


If your lead list is big enough, consider a social re-targeting campaign based on the emails that you sent out. I am a huge fan of subliminal ads that don’t feel intrusive, so when I see that subtle reminder somewhere in my social feed from a brand or company I have been interacting with, it does trigger my memory and interaction I had with that company.



#5. Not all leads are considered equal


It’s better to do a great job for the 20% that matter and to cover the rest using marketing automation rather than doing a half-cooked personalized follow up to everyone. Try mentioning situational specifics in the first 2 lines that will trigger situational recall. Something like, “I remember you mentioned you were looking at building out your gluten-free listings for Q2 – to refresh your memory, I was wearing the giant alligator hat!”  Your prospects will be getting a lot of “You stopped by our booth.”  Sure, they stopped by yours and 500 others!


For those leads that aren’t top-tier, consider placing a focus on nurturing rather than selling (only 5-15% of attendees will be in purchase mode!) – have them join your email list, provide genuinely helpful information, and develop brand affection.



#6. Showcase your brand in a non-traditional way


For certain retail trade shows, brands will be scanning badges of retailers and buyers or collecting business cards.  For a brand that has signed up for Hubba, simply head to the Connections page and feed in those email addresses and click connect and voila, all of your retailers are instantly connected to your beautiful product catalogue online.


Of course, before you go and connect with all the retailers and buyers you just met, be sure to load your product information into Hubba first. Then  your retailers have 24/7 access to your brand and now your booth lives on!


Do you have any other tips that keep you one step ahead from your competition? Let us know in the comments below!


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