Follow Up Strategy
You’ve put most of your effort into pre-event marketing, building out your content strategy and making your virtual booth memorable. Now it’s time to think about the follow up. Virtual events almost always have extended timeframes for attendees to watch live sessions on-demand and come back to the exhibit hall to explore the virtual booths. Extend your marketing plan to include on-going follow up with attendees.
Having worked with so many exhibitors, I always advise them to have a strong follow-up plan and utilize the following strategies.
Strategy #1 is to follow up quickly
Exhibitors often collect attendee contact information all the way through the event as individuals respond to calls to action. Use that data to segment what they are most interested in and have your plan ready to follow up within 24 hours after the live portion of the event ends.
Strategy #2 is to carefully plan the post-marketing campaign
Think carefully about your message to attendees and how you will deliver it. Campaigns that work the best use a multi-media approach, retarget attendees that didn’t engage with you at the event and give attendees that did more of what they asked for.
Strategy #3 is to invite people back to the booth
Most virtual events don’t close their platform right away so that means your virtual booth will remain online. After the sessions are over, invite attendees you couldn’t connect with back to the booth for a meeting or to attend a virtual demo or session.
Strategy #4 is to get active on social media
Use show hashtags on social media to provide feedback on the event and insights from sessions. Share your takeaways and commentary on the industry and where you think it’s going so you continue to attract attention.
Strategy #5 is to survey the attendees
Avoid boring and generic follow ups and make it interesting and conversational. Survey them to get their impressions on the show, the sessions and your booth. Extend your show specials to give attendees more time to respond to your offers.
Strategy #6 is to extend show specials
Those that attend a tradeshow are likely there to find products and services that they would like to purchase for their own business or resell to their customers. Assume that show specials are part of the attraction and extend the time you make them available to capture attendees who didn’t engage during the event.
Attendee engagement doesn’t need to end when the live event concludes. After spending so much time and effort building your booth and gaining attendee attention, it’s important to maintain that momentum even after the show concludes and follow up quickly. Remember to reach out to attendees to gain their feedback, and adjust your booth and content accordingly. Execute a post-event marketing campaign and use social media to continue to attract attendees to your booth, and to reach both attendees that engaged with you during the event, and those that you may have missed.