People often underestimate this stage and fail to realise the full potential of a good follow up process. The whole event would be a waste of time unless you are ready to dedicate the time and effort to follow up all prospects. Your window of opportunity is small as you need to keep top of mind, which is when you have to make contact with them (before the competition does!). As they say, strike while the iron is hot!
3. Post Exhibition
- Standard email/letter template
Set up a standard email/letter template which you send to your prospect database, this letter will allow you to thank all your visitors for visiting your stand and to again give them basic information about your company and further website links for more information. Do not forget to attach your brochure/prospectus with the email/letter you send out. The most important objective of the message you send is to let your prospects know that a member of the team will contact them in the next few days in order to consider their requirements more in detail.
- Organise and categorise your leads
Now that you have sent your general follow-up message to all your leads, here comes the next important step, following up with each prospect, individually.
Following a successful exhibition you will have a large database of leads which you should categorise according to the respective level of urgency and importance: hot, warm and cold. Categorise every prospect and focus on the hot leads first, making the follow up process more effective and successful.
Ensure that your team-members understand how to follow up with each type of lead and what they should say and ask. For example for a “hot” prospect you would give them a personal call 3-4 days following the exhibition and organise a face to face meeting showing your engagement and interest to work with them. For a “cold” prospect you might want to send out a series of emails to first of all gauge interest, find out if it’s worth further follow up, and if so, set up a telcon. Maintaining a centralised database will allow all members of your team to be aware of the progress on each prospect and makes the process manageable.
- Define your team’s tasks
Depending on your numbers of prospects, you might need to split the categorised list and get several members of your team involved in the follow-up process. The best way to split up would be by hot, warm or cold prospects or depending on your business. Take the time to brief every one about what you are expecting from each category and what their objectives are. You can set up a target number of meetings or conversions that you would like each team member to achieve as well as potential incentives when they hit the numbers.
- Evaluate your follow-up process
Now that you have taken the first steps of your follow-up process, it is important to consistently update your database with the latest prospect information. This phase will help you to correctly manage every lead and achieve their needs. It will also allow you to determine whom you really want to take a step further. A “hot” prospect at the first stage might become a “warm” one and vice versa.
This review process is also an efficient way to evaluate the whole exhibition and determine if it is worthwhile attending again. Getting at least 5 times return on your investment is a good indication of the exhibition’s success. Say you invest £10,000 on the exhibition and the prospects you converted are worth £50,000, then by our calculations you’ve had a successful exhibition!