We asked 10 experts to share their views and opinions on lead follow-up.
"Follow up in real time from the show floor, if possible, or at least within one to three business days, while you and your product are still fresh in attendees' minds."
— Gale Portwine, CTSM, marketing specialist III, Aon Affinity
"Technology for lead management can be a blessing or a curse. The lead-gathering process needs to be simple – if too many clicks or steps are involved, it will never be completed."
— Stacey Blackwell, director, corporate events, RealPage Inc.
"Sales should have input on what kind of lead data is captured on the show floor, and only the most qualified leads should be turned over to salespeople."
— Jean Howard, director of business development, TPG Trade Show & Event Marketing Inc.
"A lack of timely following up on leads can kill a deal before it has even gotten off the ground."
— Michael Plata, director of marketing, Absolute Exhibits Inc.
"We see marketers turning to interactive games to capture leads because they are tired of losing leads that staff failed to capture or sales sent back."
— Samuel Smith, managing director, Interactive Meeting Technology LLC
"Ask sales what kind of data constitutes a hot prospect to them, and then focus on capturing it. Because without that qualifying information, trade show leads become nothing but cold calls."
— Ken Mortara, president, ShowValue Inc.
"Effective lead follow-up should be personally relevant. It shouldn't be a general message, like 'You met someone at our booth,' but 'We discussed X, and here are ways we can help.'"
— Matt Greener, vice president of marketing, Modus Engagement Inc.
"When trade show leads are ignored by sales, it's usually for one reason: no notes. Simply recording some notes on the lead forms while the conversation is fresh will help drive follow-up."
— Harby Tran, senior director, marketing, Experient – a Maritz Global Events Company
"Follow-up communications are often approached like a new conversation, when they should be treated like an extension of the dialogue in the booth."
— Jon Jackson, president, Reality Engineering Solutions LLC
"Don't forget about adding a layer of lead capture to any in-booth technology activation – like a virtual-reality activity – to capture areas of interest and drive relevant post-show follow-up."
— Anne Trompeter, principal and executive creative strategist, Live Marketing Inc.