After the Online Trade Show: 5 Ways to Follow Up

Your follow-up routine can make your next appearance at a virtual trade show a raving success—or less than impressive. Following up is essential to getting business from the most important leads you meet. Here are a few tips for nailing the follow-up.

1. Know who your high-value contacts are.

It’s essential to separate your contacts into high-value, mid-value, and low-value. The high-value contacts should be your first priority. These are people who demonstrated high amounts of interest, and who are good prospects—with the right budget. Be sure you make notes about the conversations you have with these high-level prospects so you can refer to them later.

2. Make it personal.

Online trade show software makes it easy for you to save notes and IM conversations you have with important prospects. When you follow up with them, don’t send an automated email. Send a personalized email referring to something you discussed at the trade show, and offering more information if it’s applicable. Show yourself to be a resource as well as a salesperson.

3. Have a system.

Before the event, make sure you set up a system. Take a tour of the software and learn how the data capture works—find out ahead of time how to integrate it into your existing contact management system. Be sure everything is set up so that when it’s time to follow up, you aren’t faced with establishing your entire system as well as getting in touch with new leads.

4. Set aside a block of time soon after the show.

You should follow up with your most important leads within 48 hours of the end of the show. This will give you the opportunity to strike while the iron is hot—and get in touch while they still remember you and have your conversation top-of-mind. Before you go to the show, be sure to arrange your workload so you’ll have enough time to attend to the most important leads you gather right away.

5. Keep track of your results.

It’s not enough just to follow up with important leads. It’s also crucial to have an idea of whether the trade show worked for you. Online trade shows are less expensive overall than most traditional trade shows, but attending one does still involve some expenditure of time and money. Assess how much money you brought in as a result of your attendance after three months, six months, and a year. Compare those figures against the amount you spent to attend the trade show to see if this one is a good investment going forward. 

Following up isn’t always as easy as it looks—but you can put a system in place to improve your results. Follow these tips, and you should be able to follow up effectively after an online trade show—and generate positive results.

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