Show Follow-Ups That Will Make You Memorable
While you want to stand out at a trade show, it can be just as important to make a strong impression after a show is over. Here are six ways to follow up that can make you noteworthy.
1. Don’t Let Time Drag
Most leads and connections made at a trade show are never followed-up. Before you spend the money and time to get a booth or attend a show, create a specific step-by-step strategy for how you’re going to follow up. Proceed to do so within a couple of days after the show ends. The longer you wait, the more the event will fade from everyone’s memory – and with it, many of the benefits you could have gained from the connections you made there.
2. Look Up Prospects’ Accomplishments
Personalize every interaction you have with someone after the show. Career expert and Associate Director of WORKS, Jill Jacinto, notes why people post their slide-shows and other accomplishments on LinkedIn. They want people to know about them. It’s flattering to take the time to read their blog or an article about them and make note of it in your follow-up.
3. Be Their Market Researcher
During a show, you spend 10 minutes chatting with an entrepreneur who let slip his frustration because the .com domain he wanted has already been snagged. You can make a friend-for-life by sending a note about the pros and cons of using other domains, like .biz. Or connect the prospect with a friend who is an expert in naming domains. If you provide helpful advice and information, your follow-up changes from a sales call to a genuine connection.
4. Be a Journalist
Information is a strong currency these days. During the show, it’s a smart idea to take notes of happenings and seminars. You can blog about them or put together a show report – which you can send to people you’ve met. It’s a welcomed and attention-getting way to stand out. Especially since the recipient will probably not have had time to go to every presentation. You can also take it to the next level (and demonstrate your expertise) by analyzing and reporting the information. Jacinto has another idea: Blog about the prospect, if they said something of genuine interest. Fact-checking their comments is a flattering way to reconnect.
5. Send a Photo
It’s hard to remember everyone you meet at a trade show – those two or three hectic days can become one blur. Prepare for your follow-up by doing something to stand out during the show. You might wear an unusual piece of jewelry or apparel. Then jog prospects’ memories by telling them you’re “the guy in the red sneakers.” Perhaps include a photo of your booth, especially if it’s surrounded by many eager, interested prospects.
6. Get Social
If you prefer to nurture connections over time, follow them on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn, including a personal message with your invite reminding them of how you met. The important step is to begin to interact with them online, sharing information and comments about their posts in a genuine way.