How to: Make the most out of an Exhibition or Trade Show

Campaign Monitor Enlist

“The universe is a pretty big place. If it’s just us, seems like an awful waste of space.” ― Carl Sagan

At Puddle we have lots of clients who spend quite a considerable amount of money on exhibitions the UK and around the world. Now for that sort of investment your looking to get as much out of it as possible on the day and 6-12 months down the line.

One of the best ways we’ve found to ensure you have continuous communication with potential clients further down the line is to email them. This means gathering their email on the stand then sending some worthy material out when your back in the office.

To gather this data I have a few simple rules to follow. First, do not give them a pen and ask them to fill in a form. You’ll get spelling errors, handwriting you can’t read not to mention the admin job that awaits you on your return to get the details into a spreadsheet. The best way to collect information, especially email addresses is digitally.

Campaign Monitor Enlist

We use a piece of awesome email marketing software called ‘Campaign Monitor‘. Very similar to MailChimp, Aweber etc but it just has that extra polish and is simple enough for anyone to be able to use. The best thing is though they have an App for iPad called ‘Enlist‘. This allows you to create a custom form, brand it and hold it there on your iPad. Mr potential customer comes along, fills in his details and they are sent directly to your email marketing database. No admin, no errors. Just ready to be used.

I would just add though that your rate of getting signups on-stand will improve hugely if you offer a prize draw. Doesn’t have to be anything mega expensive, maybe £50 vouchers, or a free product for example.

Now the most important part of attending an exhibition or trade show is the follow up. Prior to going to the show have an email template ready to go, thanking the delegates for stopping by your stand. Direct them to your website and further info about your products/services. Then as soon as you return from the show, get the emails out and start on a regular campaign to keep in touch with those people. So when they are ready to buy your ‘Front of mind’.

I’d be interested to hear about any other techniques you’ve found useful at your own trade show or exhibition. How does yours differ from mine?

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By Steven Burles

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