After the exhibition closes, it is tempting to breathe a great sigh of relief then immediately resume normal business activities but this would be a wasted opportunity. Within 7-days of the close of the exhibition, there should be at least two meetings held:
Stand staff – Your stand staff were face-to-face with your target market for the duration of the exhibition, so have the clearest perception of their views on your company, products and promotions.
The first meeting should include the stand, sales and marketing staff. The purpose of this meeting is to go over every lead captured, whilst still fresh in their minds. Of necessity, leads captured on the stand contain brief notes or cryptic information, as staff feel pressured to move on to waiting prospects. Prompt review in a relaxed environment encourages staff to remember each encounter and details on prospects and their needs. The more information the stand staff can supply on each lead, the better equipped the sales staff will be to convert them to orders.
As stand staff were face-to-face with your target market, ask them to:
- list the most common questions asked about the Company and the products displayed or promoted. This presents a great opportunity to establish the perception of your brands with the target market and how well they understand who you are and what you are offering.
- list any compliments or complaints received on the stand. Complaints are always a great sales opportunity, allowing you to correct past mistakes. The alternative is for unhappy customers to say nothing and merely move their business to your competitors.
- what they thought of your stand and what worked or did not work on the stand. Find out what they thought was the best stand on the exhibition and why.
Marketing – the second meeting should be the post-show review with marketing and management, to determine:
* the success of the exhibition and if the organiser’s visitor expectations were met. Consider not only the quantity but the quality of the visitors and whether external factors influenced attendance, like bad weather.
* if your exhibition objectives and budgets were realistic for that specific exhibition.
* if the pre-show promotions worked in building quality traffic to the stand
* if the stand design functioned as intended and conveyed the right brand messages
* the initial expo results; the number of orders or leads gained
* the potential value of each lead, should they convert to orders
* if a ‘Lead Manager’ has been appointed, who will be responsible for every single lead gained from the exhibition.
* the lead management and post-show promotional plans for converting the maximum number of leads to orders, over the next 12 – 18 months.
These two meetings, held within 7 days of the close of the exhibition are important factors in improving exhibition performance and results.