Trade Show Networking: How to Turn Leads into Sales

trade show networking

You’re planning to attend your first big trade show event, or maybe you’ve been to a few events and are looking to make your efforts more focused and productive. The key is first defining success for the show and then itemizing a plan to make it happen. In other words, you want significant ROI for the investment of your time and money and need a rock-solid strategy to get there. Here are eight best practices for turning trade show leads into actual sales.

  • Identify Your Top Prospective Client
    Review the attendee lists before the show and do your homework to know which companies, decision makers, and prospective clients will be there. Create a target list and make it your priority to introduce yourself to these contacts.
  • Be Selective in Choosing Networking Events
    You don’t have to be everywhere to be successful. Be selective and make sure you spend your valuable time and efforts attending the networking events that position you in front of your ideal customers.
  • Incentivize
    Generate leads by offering incentives for your products or services to trade show customers. Sell the sizzle and generate a sense of urgency to buy from you at the show. Be mindful not to offer anything that might not be easily transitioned to other, non-show clients later, in case you need to extend the promotion elsewhere; incentivize intelligently.
  • Keep Your Ear to the Ground
    Potential customers who attend a trade show are participating because there is already interest. Basically, they have already expressed interest in what you have to offer and are strategically placed at the top of your sales funnel This is why it’s vital for you to be a diligent listener. You can learn about buying trends, competitors’ offers, and be current on the buzz of the event; listen to what people are saying and utilize those insights to your advantage.
  • Focus on Your Core Solutions, First
    When communicating with leads or potential customers, make sure you focus your demonstrations and conversations on those details that offer a specific solution to their problems and be sure you’re providing a relevant solution first.
  • Focus on Their ROI, Second
    How can your service or product provide these customers with a direct ROI? Make sure you follow up the core solutions conversation with the ROI conversation to prove the value your product or service can offer.
  • Make the Most of Your Trade Show Materials
    -Marketing Literature & Swag: Reward your booth visitors with gifts of swag. Your promotional marketing materials will be their reminder to call you when they’re ready. Make sure all of your materials have insight, additional information, and feature your contact information.
    -Display & Signage: Make sure your trade show booth display is prominent and easy to read. People unfamiliar with your company should know what you do or offer when they approach your booth.
    -Demonstrations: Be prepared to demonstrate how your product works and put samples in customers’ hands. If you are a service provider, offer free videos of testimonials or webinar signups. Create an experience at your booth that will keep them talking about you long after they leave.
  • Gather Contact Information and Follow Up
    Have sign-up sheets for your mailing list and ask for business cards. Some events even have trade show lead devices for rent. The key to turning the lead into a sale is executing a proper follow-up program for each contact you make. Follow up with a call to action and build on the momentum you created at the show.

If you’re not winning new business, you’re just mingling. Be intentional with your communication during a trade show and hit your ROI goals. If you’re interested in trade show displays or event marketing material, contact us today!

1 Comment

  1. Hey,

    This is a great article, it has actually cleared many of my doubts. It would be great if you can tell me how important is capturing each and every moment of the trade show?



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