When you exhibit at trade shows, most organisations take the same approach: you book your spot, design the perfect booth and work hard to create an engaging experience for visitors to your stand on the day. But while your booth is your ‘shop window’ for the duration of each trade show, it’s only one part of your events experience.
Collecting new business leads are only one part of companies’ events strategy: one other priority is nurturing existing contacts and customers, to develop and build upon that relationship.
3 opportunities to network with existing contacts at trade shows
If you’re looking at an upcoming trade show as an opportunity to network with existing contacts, not just as a chance to generate new business leads, there are many ways to get more value from your trade show experience:
1) Networking events
Whether hosting, sponsoring or just attending, networking events are a great opportunity to spend time talking to customers or prospects in a more casual environment. It's still a professional event, but it's away from the sales-heavy environment of the trade show floor. You're likely to have a more relaxed and informative conversation outside the confines of the trade show or conference.
2) Exclusive customer events
If you're exhibiting at one of the biggest shows in your industry, it's likely that a lot of your customers will be attending, or exhibiting themselves. Consider hosting your own, invite-only networking or showcase event after the trade show closes for the day. Having the chance to chat to other users of your product can be a great way for customers to get ideas of new ways to use your product, and to learn from each other.
3) Product masterclasses
If you're launching new features or a new product range during a trade show, you may want to run product masterclasses for your existing customers. This is a great way to build trust, as well as excitement around your new launch, while helping improve adoption rates for your new products.
Add proprietary events to develop existing relationships at events
Hosting your own events, such as networking, product masterclasses, or customer events are a good way to developing and maintaining positive relationships, and for building your company's brand.
As the owner or organizer of these events, you get the most value from knowing who's attended, and who hasn't. Which of your customers did you get the chance to speak to, and who was unable to attend, and so missed out on some useful information?
Integrate Events has just launched our check-in functionality, to enable you to put together a list of attendees, and check-in visitors who attend your event. Additionally, you can use the same functionality to capture walk-in attendees too - people not on your list, where you'd want to collect their contact details.
This enables you to:
- Import a list of invitees and keep track of who's attended
- Know who hasn't attended, so you can send essential or useful information after the event
- Capture new contacts' details
- Edit or amend existing contacts’ details
- Export your list of attendees, so you can compare new vs. existing contacts for that event.
Attending trade shows is a fantastic opportunity for generating new leads, but also to nurture existing relationships - both with customers and prospective customers at a late stage in your sales process. Many organisations we work with use trade shows both to generate new business opportunities, and to nurture existing relationships, as upselling, expansion and renewal opportunities are just as valuable as new sales. Integrate Event's check-in functionality means that you can use Integrate Events throughout your whole event experience - on the trade show floor, and beyond the booth.