Trade shows have been the main source of lead generation for some time now. Some companies spend up to 20% of their total marketing budget on visiting trade shows. The truth is that the companies very often end up without leads or unqualified leads. The previous year has brought many changes to the industry. Most trade shows were canceled or postponed. One year later, we are still learning and adapting to the new normal.
Event organizers and companies expect that in-person trade shows will regain importance after the pandemic. Meanwhile, hybrid and online trade shows are a great way for companies to gather the leads they’re looking for.
As you all know, there are no rules or guidelines for adapting to virtual/hybrid trade shows. With each organized event, we can see what works well and what we need to change in the future. Regardless if it’s in person, virtual, or hybrid, it is still a trade show. It is still organized for the same purpose and with the same goal.
Virtual trade shows are less expensive. They have a global reach since it is online. Furthermore, it provides tools that make showcasing products and services effortless. Nevertheless, whatever kind of trade show is, preparation must be on-time, detailed, and passionate.
Here are the tips that will help you qualify leads at trade shows:
Investing in a booth works for lead generation
It is impossible to emphasize how important investing in a booth is. It represents your company, and everyone wants their company perceived in the best way possible. The majority of the stands are boring. You can see that there was not much creativity or time invested in its development. Regardless of the industry you work in, investing in the booth is smart. It needs to attract attention and portray the best picture of your brand.
Trade show attendees always look for compelling booths. They want to see something new, exciting, and unusual. It is the way to find and catch the attention of potential qualified leads. Some of the ideas for doing in the booth are playing different games and offering giveaways.
Whom to send to the trade show?
You have to be very picky when it comes to the team you will send to the trade show. The team should possess a variety of qualities and characteristics. First of all, they need to be very communicative and easy-going.
Keep in mind that they will lead the conversation during the event, so they need to have relationship-building qualities. By doing this, they will make relationships with potential leads right from the start. That is what will most likely contribute to the lead qualification. They need to be knowledgeable about products that will enable them to lead engaging conversations. Furthermore, they need to have instructions on conducting the conversations, what to look for, what questions to ask, and avoid yes/no questions. These types of questions do not provide sufficient information needed for us.
For a virtual trade show, there is one more aspect that is necessary besides these mentioned qualities. The team should have skills in digital communication concerning emails, messages, and giving speeches virtually. Though delivering a speech is difficult in in-person trade shows, it is even more challenging when giving it virtually.
Goals and objectives
Sometimes when attending a trade show, sales and marketing teams have different goals in mind. The sales team wants to make as many sales as possible, while the marketing team wants to introduce a new product or service. In this way, they are working against each other without even knowing it. It is crucial to make sure that there is a clear strategy and that all teams are coherent. Each team member should have specific tasks. When put together, they will accomplish the company’s goal.
When developing the goal for the trade show, you need to make sure that it is SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Relative. Successfully implementing SMART in your goals will ensure ROI. Do not forget that trade shows are a numbers game. The profit margin and closure rates of the sales team are just some of the many things that you need to consider.
Speed and strategy
Visitors at trade shows visit more than 30 booths in one day. At every booth, they have heard and learned something. By the time they get home, they will probably not remember which team was from which company and what they were all presenting. It will all be a blur. If you contact visitors quickly after they have left your booth, you have a greater chance for lead qualification. Not only that, they will probably be amazed by the speed of your company. The contact does not need to be anything special – an email or SMS thanking them for visiting you is enough.
Another way to successfully qualify leads at trade shows is to establish one way of lead-capturing. The team should develop a strategy for how to do it. From approaching a visitor, how communication is carried out, to how to finish the conversation, everything needs to be in the plan and preparation. Technology needs to be used as much as possible. There are different CRMs and Marketing Automation Platforms for generating real-time leads. They will enable the marketing team to immediately follow up.
B2B Lead Generation for trade shows – Do it right with AladdinB2B!
These tips will surely help you in lead qualifying, which is not an easy task. The stakes are even higher when you invest in trade shows. That’s why everything must be prepared and super organized. You need to know who will come to the trade show, the ways of addressing those people, and what tactics work on them. It means that research is paramount. Even if there are some inactive leads generated, do not dispose of them immediately. It would be wise to have these records for at least one to two years. “Where there is smoke, there is fire.” You never know what might happen in the future. Lead generation is the most important for show exhibitors. Following the strategy will ensure that qualifying leads will be better with each event.
AladdinB2B offers various tools that will help you to qualify leads quickly and more effectively. One of them is superior match-making technology. Contact one of their Genies to help you develop your lead-qualification strategy for the next trade show.