If you don't follow up with customers after a trade show you will fail
fol·low-up
noun
1. a continuation or repetition of something that has already been started or done, in particular. an activity carried out as part of a study in order to monitor or further develop earlier work.
"follow-up interviews"

As a professional in the Trade Show industry I don't actually get to attend as many shows as you would think. Being mainly a graphic designer means you tend to work on multiple exhibits but not actually visit the final booth on site because you are already working on the next several displays. Others in the company get to go to shows for set up and take downs while I remain back at the office toiling on future projects.

However, I do get to attend a few "industry" shows related to what I do, as well as a few personal interest shows, and am always surprised at how few companies I visit actually follow up with me after the show is over. For example, I've been to the Exhibitor show (the trade show for the Trade Show industry) many times and would say that only about 5 percent of the companies I actually get scanned by follow up with me on a regular basis. This is troubling to me.

When I attend an event and get badge scanned, or provide my contact information personally, I'm telling that company I want to buy their product or do some sort of business with them. You go through this information exchange in the hopes that someone will follow up with you while also having the pleasure of not picking up a brochure or catalog to carry around the rest of the day. The electronic transfer of information means they will do their part and get back to you.

Yet, there are many companies I've had to reach out to months later to get the information I require even after having gone through the event badge scan. Why? Did they not use correct technology? Did they simply have poorly staffed exhibit spaces and no one did their job after the fact? I want to buy their products and be in business with them. But, in the case of people in my own industry, they don't seem to be able to actually do what they sell (meaning, they preach the "follow up" rules of a show but can't do it themselves). Being in the Trade Show industry, you should actually follow the guidelines of what it is to follow up with a customer on a regular basis. even if that customer isn't currently buying.

Blog subscriptions and email follow ups are not enough. Get on the phone and call. And, mail out some materials! Or even better, visit them in person!

Why is it that so many people go to events and think it will lead to instant business and sales if they are not even taking the time to follow up? It drives me crazy. Especially in my own industry! But I won't name names :-).

Reach out to us for assistance with your next display and event! We would love to give you tips on how to be successful.