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  • Writer's pictureCarlton Bonilla

Build it and they'll come...what'll you do then?

Trade Show and Conference season is fast approaching.

New booth designs, speaking engagements confirmed, drinks and dinner plans made. Lots and lots of time, money and resources.

So you’re building it, a presence meant to attract prospects and existing clients. But, what next? A 4-story light show? A give-away at your booth? A massage chair for everyone walking by?

Here are five more impactful things to do:

1. AWARENESS. Starting long before the show, post on LinkedIn, your website and other channels that you’ll be attending. Mention booth number-location, speakers, all you have planned. Use a consistent cadence building to the event. Make certain all those attending from your company are posting or resharing this information.

2. TARGET. If possible, obtain a list of attendees. If you don’t have that list, look at the logos of sponsors, are there people in those organizations you want to meet?

3. CONNECT. For those individuals you find attending that are on your prospect list, connect with them on LinkedIn to start the conversation.

4. ENGAGE. Create a series of touchpoints over multiple channels for the attendees you’ve connected with, as well as your prospects. Let them know you’ll be at the conference, who will be speaking, and what your team has planned. As the event draws near, ask for that meeting. Always ask with a specific date and time, or use Calendly. Never just say let me know a time that works for you.

5. CONVERT. Ha, don’t we all wish. Still no silver bullet in the growth process. Maybe, just maybe your prospect is in buy mode. Statistically speaking they aren’t, but use the meeting to learn more about their business, what they’re struggling with, what they look for in a solution provider. Build that relationship. And, just because you buy them coffee or a drink, you will not stay top of mind and win a deal. But, when the trade show is over, send them a handwritten note – yep, handwritten, thanking them for their time. Then, reach out again, make your cadence personal, relevant to the conversation and the things you learned and don’t forget to continue to follow-up. It’s a journey.

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