You have all the best intentions and you know what's expected of you, but when it comes to doing the right thing it's all too easy to forget those promises, right? But don't feel too guilty, you're not alone. It seems the majority of us do it over and over again.
What am I talking about? Trade show follow up.
It's not like we don't plan for it. Most of us do. In fact almost all of us tend to justify the cost of participating in a trade show by weighing up the expense against the exposure and leads we will generate.
Before the show we plan wonderful gimmicks sure to capture hundreds and hundreds of business cards. During the show we give away valuable prizes in return for thousands of entry forms. We take every opportunity to jot down hot leads.
Then as soon as the first call over the P.A. states that the "show is now over . . . " we drop everything we are doing, boot the punters off our stand, crack open the last beer and frantically rush around demolishing the stand. We take down all the posters, pack away all our computers, throw out the rubbish and go home ASAP.
What happens next is what I'm talking about.
Monday morning comes. We look at that pile of "show stuff" and the last thing we want to do is open up those boxes and crates. It's as though those boxes have been cursed by the spirit of Darling Harbour. We just don't want (at least for the next couple of days) to be reminded of our sore feet and bad hangovers. "We'll look at them next week," we say. And sure enough over the next few weeks all the boxes are opened and the stock accounted for. BUT there is one box left in the corner, that box containing those 3,760 leads!
The all too difficult job of following up the leads, which seemed a good idea when you planned that stand, now seems the hardest thing you will ever do. And for the most of us, the next time we will open that box full of business cards and leads is . . . well. . . the next time we do it all over again.
So why go through it all and not maximise your return? After the thrill has gone, don't break your promises, follow up those leads right away!
Lou Schillaci is a marketing consultant with Savvy Advertising and MarketingTel: (09) 388 8814 Fax: (09) 388 8813