Tradeshow and Exhibit Thoughtleaders
David Hardbarger's Articles
The 2016 ExhibitorLive was outstanding. The quality of the exhibits, and the attentiveness of their staffs, have improved immensely over time. Nearly all of the exhibitors that I spoke with expressed enthusiasm, and demonstrated great knowledge of their company’s products.
Lead collection technology continues to evolve, and the scanning of attendee’s badges with smart phones is a far cry from scribbling names and phone numbers on the back of business cards, which was typical back in the day. And the fact that, effortlessly, concise information is now provided to exhibitors about each scanned attendee should lead to efficient lead follow up.
But has improved lead collection technology resulted in improved lead follow up? I am not sure that it has, and if so, probably not to the degree that it should have. At some point, hopefully very quickly following the event, actual human beings have to sort through the accumulated leads and assign priorities to their follow up. The “A” leads judged to be “hot” need to be followed up within three days of show close. The sharper exhibitors will have followed up the “hot” leads before the show ended. The “B” leads are a bit tougher because there are generally a greater number of those. A talented Sales Manager will make certain that all of the “B” leads are followed up within ten business days. “C” leads are often not followed up at all. This is unwise because by not taking the trouble to follow up those leads exhibitors are committing to their lead qualification process being foolproof.
To the credit of ExhibitorLive, the show provides attendees with a list of all of the exhibitors who scanned their badge. My personal experience is that, with a month gone by, half of the twenty exhibitors who scanned my badge have contacted me. Two phoned and the remainders were emails. Four contacted me within ten business days and the others took longer. I am interested to see if I ever hear from the remainder.
The costs of exhibiting are high, and lack of follow up will result in disappointing ROI. Sales people have to acknowledge that leads are important and that business is always urgent.
© 2016 by David Hardbarger