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Eight Tips to Maximizing Your Trade Show Investment

Several years ago one of our clients told us they had spent a lot of money to attend the annual industry trade show; they paid extra for a prime location and had high expectations regarding their lead generation targets. They had good booth traffic and managers were please when it was all over.

They packed up their booth and sent it to storage.

The next year in preparation for that trade show, they unpacked the booth only to discover all their leads from last year had been left in the drawer of the booth … and nobody had missed them!

Use these steps to optimize your trade show investment and generate a positive ROI:

  1. Conduct a pre-Show mailer inviting targeted attendees to your booth. Recommended Process:
  2. Ensure that show producer provides you a pre-show attendee list.
  3. Identify what demographic/other criteria to segment the pre-show attendee list.
  4. Create an interesting/compelling offer to attract attendees to your booth.
  5. Telemarket to capture valuable Account Profile information and invite to your booth.
  6. Create a Trade Show Inquiry Qualification Sheet to qualify inquiries.
  7. Consolidate all inquiry information: Badge/Card-scanner, the Qualification sheets and Business Cards; create a single Excel spreadsheet/database; eliminate duplications.
  8. De-Dupe the records and then import into your Sales Force Automation (SFA)/Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Always indicate the contact Lead Source as the Trade Show.
  9. Perform Literature Fulfillment.  Distribute Qualified Leads to the Sales Reps based on pre-determined business rules.
  10. Also provide a list of all other inquiries to the sales reps so they can flag those accounts they wish to keep on file.
  11. All Inquiries not flagged should be contacted with a telemarketing call to qualify and determine interest in further contact with your company.
  12. Create a consistent email campaign to send to these accounts highlighting the benefits of your products and/or services.

Conclusion:  This comprehensive approach to Sales Lead Management will ensure your Trade Show costs pay off.


Mark Friedman
© 2011
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