Weekly Insights: Why the Disconnect with Post-show Follow-up?

Graphic: © Depositphotos.com/iqoncept

It’s always mystifying how pathetic most exhibitors are at following up with leads after the show ends.

Now I doubt most of them set out to ignore all those leads they just gathered … at least I hope not! Otherwise, what’s the point of spending all that time, energy and money on exhibiting in the first place, right?

But the fact remains that only a minority (trade show studies say only about 20 percent) of leads are followed up. And many of those aren’t followed up in a timely manner.

So it’s interesting that in a new survey by Certain, Inc. this month, results show that only 30 percent of senior marketing professionals are pleased with the amount of time it takes their team to follow up on leads. (To read more from this study, see this Successful Meetings article.)

One reason the article gives for the breakdown is a lack of technology. But I think it goes beyond that to a lack of systems. Too few exhibitors bother to get a plan in place for lead management and follow-up before the show ever begins. Without that structure and step-by-step plan, it’s too easy for leads to fall through the cracks.

So what about you? Do you have a great lead management system in place? If so, please share your ideas in the comments.

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With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.

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