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How to Nurture Trade Show Leads

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Events and tradeshows are a great way to meet people, get your company out there and— hopefully — capture new leads. However, many companies struggle with the next step: qualifying those leads and nurturing them along the buyer’s journey.

Your company needs a clear nurturing process in place before the event begins. Otherwise, you won’t be able to capitalize on opportunities, and potential customers can fall through the cracks.

Here are a few best practices to help you develop a strategy for tradeshow success. 

Plan ahead

Before the event, it’s important for you to establish a clear plan of attack. If you’re holding an event with attendees that your company is personally inviting, HubSpot’s Eventbrite integration has some excellent options for organizing and nurturing your incoming guests. You can learn more about that here.

However, this post will cover tradeshows specifically. In these scenarios, potential customers visit your booth, ask questions, swipe badges and drop off business cards. You’ll need an effective strategy for gathering information from visitors and qualifying leads for your sales team.

It’s important that you sit down with your team, months before the tradeshow, to iron out details and goals for your booth. Make a list of all the assets you’ll need beforehand and establish a repeatable process that can be replicated for other tradeshows in the future. Lay out your overall goals for the event and make sure your team is on the same page.

Questions to Ask Yourself

Go over your buyer personas and path to purchase before the event starts. Make sure you can answer these questions:

  • What is the one action you want tradeshow leads to take?
  • How many touch points are typically required before a lead is passed off to sales?
  • What content provides a logical next step for these leads?
  • What is the typical timeframe for your buyer’s journey?
  • How many messages do you want to send?
  • How will you segment trade show leads within your contact list?

Dedicated Landing Page

Ideally, you want to start nurturing leads as quickly and easily as possible. So, it’s a good idea to have a short, easy-to-type url for the conference — along with a dedicated landing page (and Thank You page) for people who come by the booth.

Managing Your Leads

Leads at a tradeshow will generally be dealt with on an individual basis as you’ll talk to a lot of people with varying levels of interest in what you have to offer. Those who clearly express interest at the booth should be passed off to sales for direct contact after the event. The rest of your leads will pick up handouts as they pass, drop off business cards, swipe their badges or write their name down on a list for more information.

These contacts should be added to your tradeshow list in HubSpot so you can reach them with a follow up email, thank them for stopping by the booth and present them with a relevant content offer as a next step. If they fill out the form on a landing page you’ve directed them to, you can then continue nurturing them along the buyer’s journey with additional content or put them in contact with a salesperson.

If someone doesn’t respond to your follow-up email, place them into your blog subscriber list (with an email informing them you’re doing so) so that they can continue to get to know your company better.

Cloning Your Assets

It’s always a good idea to organize your assets in such a way that they can be easily cloned in HubSpot for future tradeshows. Any emails, workflows, landing pages, thank you pages and processes should be saved so that your tradeshow process can improve in speed and effectiveness each time you attend a new event.  

Best of luck at your next trade show! Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you might have about tradeshows or Hubspot in general, and subscribe to our blog for more inbound insights.

The JMS Insights blog is dedicated to helping you find ways to use marketing to grow your business.

We cover subjects such as:

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