You’ve spent a whirlwind few days (possibly a week or more) executing against your organization’s trade show marketing strategy. Your booth arrived without hiccups, your sales team was sharp and on-point, and everyone is riding high from the high-quality interactions.

Now, you’re back in the office and you’re exhausted. But there is just a tiny bit more to do before you cross that finish line.

Hit “go” on your post-show campaign

After the trade show is not the time to start brainstorming about what you could do with all those leads your sales team worked 10-plus hours per day on their feet to get. Having a game plan set so you just need to activate it when you are back will be the best gift you can give yourself.

The most straightforward post-show game plan would be an email drip campaign that is set up with general messaging. The copy can be customized by industry or role of attendees, or more information can be added, but the framework will essentially be ready when you’re back in the office.

Your email drip campaign will nurture those leads so your sales team can start to gain movement in continued interaction. Maybe your organization shares a blog post that recaps the top three industry trends discovered at the event or shares best practices about something specific to the trade show or from a keynote speaker’s presentation.

Keep your sales team in the loop about the post-show engagement plan so they can best prepare and leverage it in their personal follow-ups.

Brief your team

The good, the bad, the ugly — be thorough in capturing and communicating the feedback on the trade show experience with your team. Also, revisit that first “why?” question that your team answered in deciding whether to participate in the show. Every goal that was established in your pre-show planning should be “answered” by a quantifiable metric and perspective as the result.

Trade shows often tease the next year’s show dates and location, as well as offer steep discounts on exhibition fees or spaces. While the steepest discounts are offered before you leave the show floor, there’s still a benefit on getting in early if your team has rave reviews and wants to go back next year. Use the feedback and analysis of KPIs to help you make that decision. 

Apply your hard-earned, high-quality, actionable information

What industry trends does your organization need to adopt? What industry best practices have evolved or been disrupted because of new technology or market realities? What are competitors doing and how are they executing their business strategy? What has shifted about what your current customers care about? Are decision-makers the same role or has it evolved? Where are areas that your organization needs to innovate or concentrate on to remain relevant? Where are there holes in your organization’s overall business strategy?

These are hard-hitting questions that, hopefully, an industry trade show can start to answer for you. Apply that hard-earned, high-quality, actionable information from the trade show to your organization’s business strategy. More than anything, it will bring ROI on participating in the trade show last indefinitely.

This is the final installment in a three-part series. Don’t miss the part 1, “Rock this trade show season: Before show basics,” and part 2, “Rock this trade show season: Working the floor.”