Trade Shows Don’t End When The Show Floor Closes, Expert
A trade show is more than just the hours that the exhibit hall
is open. In fact, says Paul Holland of North Caldwell, NJ-based
Corum Marketing, that is the smallest component of the ongoing
marketing process. After all, there are many different reasons for
attending a trade show, both as an exhibitor and as an
According to Holland, two of the reasons most often given by
exhibitors for participating in a show are to meet with their
existing clients and to solicit new leads for potential business.
Holland notes that, once the event is in your rearview mirror, you
need to take time to assess your position and be sure you achieved
Canvas your contact list from the show and make a note of those
existing clients you did not see. What better opportunity to follow
up, re-establish and strengthen ties?
By the time you get back, all of your fulfillment should have
already been sent out. The optimum time frame, Holland notes, is
for it to arrive three to five days after the show closes. This is
because a lead loses approximately 50% of its efficacy after seven
calendar days. That’s not surprising, Holland says, considering the
pace of life: after a week, it’s hard to remember even attending
the event, never mind visiting a particular exhibit.
You want to wait three to five days to give them time to reduce
their backlog and return to a semblance of sanity. Think about what
your desk, message boxes and in-box looked like when you got back
to the office. Waiting until the fog clears will only enhance the
message that is received.
Make sure the envelope that announces your follow-up is
specifically labeled, such as “Thank you for stopping by the show.
Here is the information you requested.” Holland states that when
you identify your content on the envelope, in the fax header or in
the subject line of an e-mail, you increase the probability that
your message gets opened.
Following these tips after a trade show will help you to meet
the goals and objectives you set when you first decided to go to
This story originally appeared in the Spring 2002 issue of NKBA
ProFiles Magazine and is reprinted with permission from the
National Kitchen & Bath Association.