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Trade shows are an excellent marketing tool because companies put their brand on display to their target audience.  People attend trade shows because they’re looking to purchase something or check out the new goods and services in the industry.  Each one of these visitors can be considered trade show leads, but they’re not necessarily prospects.  Typically, after qualifying your trade show leads, you can consider them a prospect.  But what tips can you use to increase your pool of leads and move them into the prospect category?

Start Marketing to the Show List Early

Nearly every show has a show list for sale that with a little bit of effort, your marketing or sales department can reach.  The key is to get your brand in front of these potential trade show leads nice and early.  Develop compelling messaging that would make them want to stop by your trade show booth and learn more about your brand. You should also be sharing content such as videos and pictures using the show’s hashtag, encouraging these potential trade show leads to stop by and see you.  The earlier your company can start marketing to this list, the more likely it is that you’ll be on their mind.

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Create an Exhibit that’s a Magnet for Trade Show Leads

At a recent show, one of our trade show exhibitors was so busy that in their 10×20 trade show booth staffed with 23 employees, every person was busy talking to someone with lines of even more trade show leads surrounding their trade show exhibit.  Why?  They loved the unique design so much that it drew people from across the exhibit hall.  Everyone had to see their unique signage for themselves.  Similarly, people all wanted to play their experiential marketing game.  It’s unique designs like this which are magnets for trade show leads.  Attracting more people can expand your lead pool, making it more likely you can convert more people to prospects.

Snappy Gifts trade show exhibit design

Train Your Booth Staff to Qualify Trade Show Leads Quickly

There’s really no point in trying to contact every single person who walks into your trade show booth.  Some of them may not be in a position to buy, some may be locked into contracts, and any number of additional scenarios.  Therefore, your booth staff needs to know how to quickly qualify trade show leads to determine if they’re a true prospect or not.  They should be able to quickly scan badges, determine whether or not they’ve got an interest in the product and their interest in having more in-depth discussions.

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Follow Up Immediately After the Trade Show

If you’ve been able to qualify trade show leads and turn them into prospects, it’s time to keep up the momentum and contact them.  It seems like a no-brainer, but you’d surprised how many good sales people forget this basic step.  The prospect did their part, now it’s time for you to do your part. Following up can be as easy as a brief call that it was great to meet them and perhaps you could chat when they’ve got some free time.  Or it can be an invitation to a free trial if they were a product enthusiast.

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Using these tips, your team can successfully turn trade show leads into viable prospects.  For more advice, feel free to ask your Account Executive while designing your trade show exhibit.  They are a wealth of information that can be very useful to your brand.

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