©2017 Chetan Saiya, Zoomifier

Tradeshow exhibits are a great way to spread or strengthen brand and product awareness, especially in a niche industry. Designing a tradeshow booth, training your team members, tradeshow fees and traveling to the event requires substantial investments. The most common metric used to justify these investments is the number of highly targeted sales leads that can be generated among the visitors to your exhibit.

Unfortunately, 90% of the visitors to the exhibit visitors who expressed great interest in your offerings (and hence were identified as highly targeted sales leads) do not respond when the sales team follows up on the leads. This is very frustrating for businesses and often causes finger pointing between marketing and sales teams.

Let’s look at the key reasons why leads are not converting into qualified sales opportunities so that we can effectively address them:

  • An attendee visits an average of 26 exhibits at a tradeshow. In addition, they are bombarded with messaging from influencers, bloggers, press and vendors over social media. Clearly they are saturated and overwhelmed with the flood of information.
  • Back at the office, the work was piling up while they were away at the tradeshow. On returning to the office, they get busy catching up. How likely do you think they are at responding to your follow up emails and phone calls? Very unlikely.
  • The attendees like to research and explore more information about your offerings before they engage with you. Unfortunately, you did not have enough time to capture their detailed requirements at the tradeshow and left them with standard “leave behind” marketing and sales collateral. Now you can’t guide them with relevant information until they respond. So you are stuck in a little bit of logjam here.

Fortunately, you can break this logjam, reengage the visitors and nurture them into qualified sales opportunities by following these guidelines for a new form of highly effective customer engagement:

1. Go digital

Remember that more than 80% of the content is consumed on mobile devices. Use QR codes, RFIDs or good old email to share a piece of relevant content with the attendees while they are at your exhibit. Keep your content pieces short but engaging. For example, explainer videos and visually rich infographics are a great way to start the engagement. As far as possible, tone down your brand and detailed description of your offerings. Instead, focus on their pain points to jumpstart engagement.

2. Let them binge

The overwhelmed and distracted attendee are less likely to spend more than 2 minutes on any piece of information shared with them. However, you can leverage another change in their content consumption behavior: they love to binge on the content when they have easy access to it. Hence you need to make sure that they can easily get access to as much content as possible when they have time.

3. Sustain nurturing with relevant recommendations

One of the great advantages of sharing your content digitally is that you could track its consumption by your target audience. Initially, when you don’t have enough information about their interests, offer them choices of content to select from. This allows them to personalize their own journey – an user experience they really prefer. Their choices enable you to infer their interests. Use these insights to send relevant content recommendations via email to reactivate engagement. Research has shown that when a person has invested their time in consuming some content previously, they are very likely (more than 60% likely) to consider a related piece of content recommended to them.

4. Suggest a relevant call to action

Now that you are able to observe the content consumption behavior of your attendees and infer their interests and requirements, suggest a call to action aligned with these observations. Since you were able to successfully engage and nurture the attendee with relevant information post their visit to your exhibit, they are almost guaranteed to respond to your call to action. If not, continue nurturing until they are ready.

Most of what we discussed here seems common sense and might resonate with your own experiences. You might be wondering how to enable content bingeing, how to recommend relevant content while they are consuming other pieces of content or how to track their content consumption to infer deep insights about their interests and requirements. This is where a new and innovative technology can help. Let’s look at one such solution. 

A new Silicon Valley startup, Zoomifier Corporation has developed a cloud-based solution that effectively engages and nurtures your tradeshow visitors, converts them into qualified sales opportunities and guides your sales team to close the deal using an innovative new technology called Personalized Autonomous Customer Engagement (PACE).

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What The Audience Is Saying

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