Companies spend time, effort and money investing in their trade show and research shows that 80% of leads are not followed up after the event, yet 90% of business comes from following up after the show.  This article will help you get a good system in place to maximise the leads and sales you get from exhibiting.

Generating Leads

There are 4 simple steps to attracting visitors and creating the opportunity to gain a lead:

  • Approach
  • Engage
  • Secure
  • Follow up

The approach

The approach is a conversation starter

‘What type of (product/service) are you using at the moment’?

Don’t use conversation starters that could provoke a negative reaction: such as ‘Can I help you’?

You can build in a ‘hook’ in order to approach visitors

Examples of ‘Hooks’ are:

  • Giveaways “I’d like to give you something absolutely free!”
  • Competitions/Prize draws -“If you give me a few details I’ll give you a chance of winning…”
  • Demonstrations – “We have something fantastic to show you”
  • Refreshment on the Stand – “You look as if you might like a…”


Once the hook has worked, engage in conversation by asking open questions

Staff should be alert and find out who would be the right person to talk to in their organisation.


  • Capture all the necessary details – lead form or scanner pen
  • Secure agreement to a follow-up action


This is where the leads are converted to sales

Sales Conversion

Without follow-up, you are unlikely to convert the majority of leads you have generated at your exhibition stand.

Having a long-term strategy to follow up will maximise your results.

Sales efforts need to be backed up by a marketing campaign. Make sure your sales team is well briefed, so they understand what they need to do and when. Show them any marketing materials in advance so they know what is being sent to prospects.

If you have an internal resource in your company then fulfil leads during the show, if not then immediately after the show. The most important thing is to get there before your competitors do.

Plan a sequence and variety of follow-ups, example as follows:

Action Plan for Follow-Up

  1. Week of the show Mail: send fulfilment pack
  2. Sales call: follow-up on the pack and ask for a meeting
  3. Send an email: could include showing a promotional offer or more information
  4. Sales call: follow up with an offer and ask for a meeting
  5. Send an email: a reminder of the closing date for the promo offer

Creating repeat sales

Once you have converted a lead to a sale both marketing and sales can nurture a client into further orders for services and products.

This can be in the form of an action plan similar to the follow-up following the show but will be over a longer period.

Action Plan for Repeat Sales

  1. Following the first order – email thanking them and informing them of the features and benefits of the product bought
  2. One month later: follow-up, checking the client is satisfied with the product bought.
  3. Two months later Send an email: a promotional offer on a service that compliments the product they bought
  4. 6 months in: Introduce additional services, that the client may not be aware of
  5. 7 months in: Sales Call to have a review checking the client is pleased and discuss additional support.