The success of your exhibiting activities can be hard to quantify.

This is why effective event follow-up is key to making exhibitions really pay. It’s not just about having an awesome display stand.

Research shows that around 70% of event leads are not followed up – yet 90% of business gained comes from the follow-up work.

A thorough and strategic approach to following up leads will really pay off. If you do twice as much follow up, you’ll get twice the result!


It soon becomes clear to buyers in the days and weeks after a show who it is that really wants their business.

exhibition follow up

Are you keen and efficient or slack and unprofessional?

  • Establish a lead handling system prior to the show. Nominate somebody to be responsible for dealing with this area. Decide how the follow up is to be done and what the plan is.
  • Start the fulfilment/follow up process during the show. Don’t wait until it’s all over. Your competitors won’t.
  • Hot leads go cold within a couple of days and exhibition leads are some of the hottest you can get – you have met, they have seen samples etc and you have advanced the relationship a long way. Write or email and/or call all leads within 2 days.
  • Build contacts into your existing marketing database for inclusion in general marketing campaigns.
  • Prioritise leads:

A – Needs/requested appointment, ready to buy

B – Requested a call

C – Gathering information/send brochures

  • Follow up using different methods; email/brochure/sales call etc.
  • Contact those you invited/expected but missed. Send a letter/email.
  • Any letters or emails should be personalised and should refer to their visit to the show.
  • Offer an incentive to buy – a special offer exclusive to show visitors. Make sure you establish a closing date and send a reminder a couple of weeks beforehand.
  • Continue to follow up in the long term. Many visitors to the show wouldn’t have had an immediate requirement, so contact them periodically. Research shows that it takes on average 7 “hits” to get a meeting.


Take the time to monitor results:

Establish a cost per lead – this will reinforce the value of leads to your sales force. Monitor Sales revenue over the long term. This will enable you to calculate your ROI and really see the benefits that exhibiting brings and it will give you a benchmark from which to make improvements on for the following year.

Sales Follow-Up

Salespeople are not always naturally good at long term follow up so your Sales Team may need to be pushed/encouraged to follow up effectively.

First-class sales follow up is vital for maximising results.

There are a number of things you can do to ensure effective follow up:

  • Make people accountable. Make sure they are aware of the cost attached to each lead they are given. Set targets and timescales for conversion to meeting or sale. Do measure in the long term.
  • Focus on their efforts either through team meetings or one- to- one through the Sales Manager. Make it competitive – have a league table or run a small incentive for the most appointments/sales made.
  • Ensure the lead information is as accurate and detailed as possible. This really helps sales follow up effectively as they feel in possession of the facts and can talk with confidence. Ensure they get the leads quickly.
  • Talk them through the nature of the follow-up call and how it may differ from other types of calls they make. Decide on a strategy for getting to the next step – this could be tied into any promotional offers to show visitors.
  • Make them aware of the bigger picture. Talk them through the overall marketing strategy for follow up.
  • Keep on following up the follow-up.

Effective follow up is fundamental to getting the results you need from exhibitions, so don’t let poor follow up deny you the good results you deserve!