6 Tips on How to Engage Leads Pre- and Post-Show

May 15, 2024

In the world of trade shows, making an impression isn’t only about what happens during the event; it’s about the anticipation before and the momentum after. This comprehensive approach can transform your trade show experience from a mere exhibit to a powerhouse of long-term growth, partnerships and results.

The importance of both pre- and post-trade show marketing can’t be overstated. Without it, you’re essentially throwing your investment away. It’s like organizing a grand party but forgetting to send out the invites or follow up afterward. Don’t be that host.

Strategies to Boost Pre-Trade Show Engagement 

Pre-show marketing is about engaging attendees, sparking curiosity and standing out amidst a sea of booths. Consider the following actions to take your pre-show marketing to new heights: 

1. Identify Your Ideal Pre-Show Cadence: Start your trade show marketing early. Reach out no more than four weeks prior to the event and make your messages count. Customize your outreach and ensure your messaging is relevant to your audience’s interests and needs.

2. Create Compelling Content: Blog posts, email campaigns and social media posts should be a part of your pre-show marketing strategy. Informative blog posts will generate interest and traffic while a biweekly email campaign leading up to the event will keep your audience informed and engaged.

3. Leverage Social Media and Videos: Use platforms like LinkedIn and Xmfor real-time updates and videos. A daily post will maintain the buzz around your trade show activities. 

Maximizing Post-Show Connections

Post-show marketing is about maintaining the connection, acknowledging attendees’ presence and rekindling rapport. Best practices for an effective post-trade show marketing strategy include the following: 

1. Personalize Your Follow-Ups: Post-show marketing should be personal and memorable. Use tools like Loom to send personalized thank-you videos, referencing shared conversations or experiences from the event. This human touch is invaluable in transforming brief encounters into a second meeting.

2. Extend Your Content Strategy: Share follow-up blog posts about the event, invite contacts to webinars and encourage them to sign up for your mailing list. Tailored post-show engagement, like exclusive whitepapers or niche webinars, will further prove your value to potential leads.

3. Measure and Analyze Your Efforts: Utilize customer relationship management (CRM) tools to track every interaction and update leads post-event. Metrics like referral traffic, social media engagement and meetings booked are crucial to understanding the impact of your trade show marketing and refining future strategies. An enjoyable conversation and aligned needs don’t guarantee a quick second meeting. Play the long game and keep an eye on early indicators to affirm the investment in an event in the short term. 

Crafting a Holistic Strategy

Trade show marketing is a dynamic process, and with each event, you gather more insights and refine your approach. If you make the investment and get access to attendee data, you have a duty to approach them authentically and strategically. Start by understanding your audience’s preferences and needs. Most brands will focus on setting a meeting at the conference. Stand out from all the emails with an event-specific content marketing strategy.

Beyond that, collaborate and cross-promote with industry influencers, bloggers or other exhibitors. Co-creating content like joint blog posts or interviews can provide new insights and value to your audience. Look to connect this pre-event content with a live experience to bring people to your booth or event. Two aligned brand audiences are always better than one. 

Your trade show success depends on a holistic marketing strategy that encompasses pre- and post-event efforts. By meticulously planning your content, collaborating with the right partners and employing a data-driven approach, you can significantly enhance your trade show marketing. Remember, your content is not just a marketing tool; it’s the bridge between your brand and your audience. Make sure it’s a custom bridge well built.


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