Increase Trade Show ROI with Personalized Follow Up

In an unpredictable market, proving trade show ROI can be a risky marketing play.

And it’s not just the booth space. It’s the eye-catching custom display, branded swag, and embroidered polos, not to mention sponsorships and employee travel expenses. So when the average cost per lead at a trade show is $811, every prospect counts. 

Your hard-working sales reps hustle to chat with every conference attendee with a pulse. So you count yourself lucky if, at the end of the conference, you fly home with a handful of potential customers and 2,000+ badge scans. Although with limited information like name, email address, and company, what can you really do with that?

A lot, it turns out.

Scanning badges is part of trade show ROI

Ensure Trade Show ROI with Better Follow Up

For many organizations, conference follow up looks like this: 

(1) Upload your list of badge scans into Salesforce

(2) Manually assign contacts to an SDR team

(3) Ask sales reps to research and complete the contact record

(4) Send a mass email to all contacts asking them if they want to schedule a demo

This outdated process is frankly an expensive, ineffective use of time for employees meant to be selling, not researching. Plus, didn’t every vendor at the trade show send the same “nice to meet you at the conference” email with emojis in the subject line? 

With badge scanning, you have no idea if these contacts are truly interested. Maybe they just wanted some of your awesome swag. This can be problematic, filling your CRM with dead ends.

So here’s a better approach: map out a digital-first buying journey supported by a connected RevTech stack. Then, when trade show scans are uploaded into Salesforce, they’re automatically enriched, qualified, and routed to the right account rep with the context needed to engage with the right leads, faster.

Here’s how it’s done.

Image of three prospective customers with trade show ROI represented by icons.

Boost Trade Show Contacts with Enrichment Data

While a good researcher could find additional details about your trade show contacts, they can’t touch today’s data enrichment platforms in speed or accuracy. Companies like Clearbit, Cognism, 6sense, SalesIntel and others can instantly add reliable firmographic, demographic, and technographic attributes.

Then, with a more complete contact record, your connected RevTech stack can then qualify the lead based on real-time data. The qualification process then triggers personalized content to the right contacts.

Next, personalization done right moves the digital buying experience forward. Anticipate the next step while allowing buyers to map their own journey.

Image of icons of customers, with different reactions to mobile messages, under the headline of

Trade Show ROI Supported by Marketing Automation

With your contact records enriched, marketing automation sends personalized content to the prospect relating to their experience at the conference, addressing ways to solve their unique pain points. This content could be email, digital ads, or even custom video content.

As the prospect engages with marketing content, personalization increases. Detecting your prospect’s IP address, the hero module on your website changes to address the prospect’s unique persona. Digital ads for your products pop up in their social media feed.

Your RevTech continues to capture buyer signals, increasing the prospect’s lead qualification score until a predetermined, high quality lead status is achieved. Continuing this seamless journey, another routing node is triggered to signal that the lead is ready to book a meeting. 

Woman working at a desk with many icons representing data points and buyer journey actions.

Frictionless Sales Scheduling Software

At this point in the process, many companies will try to call their prospect to schedule a meeting. And unfortunately, poor scheduling practices can unravel outstanding marketing efforts. After qualifying a buyer who’s a perfect fit for your solution, you certainly don’t want a manual process to be the bottleneck for closing the deal.

Here’s where a connected RevTech stack sweeps in to save the day. Sales appointment scheduling software is triggered, sending the lead an automated email from the assigned account rep with suggested calendar times for follow up. The prospect selects a meeting time using AI without any manual sales effort — no scheduling ping pong, no back and forth.

Reliable Trade Show ROI: From Scans to Meetings

After the dust settles from every trade show you exhibit, the most important question sellers must ask themselves is this: How much business did you get? While every product has a sales cycle, ultimately, if that number is zero, there’s a problem. Without a personalized, scalable, follow up strategy, you may as well not go. 

In today’s digital buying journey, successful follow up consists of the right marketing plays facilitated by a strategically connected RevTech stack. Plus, this simplified, modern approach to revenue orchestration helps sellers determine where their buyers are in the buying journey, anticipate where they’re going next, and automate the right revenue play.

That’s how a random list of trade show scans transforms into meetings.

  • Integrations
  • Trade show ROI
About the Author
Kim Peterson
Kim Peterson
Manager, Content Strategy at LeanData

Kim Peterson is the Manager of Content Strategy at LeanData where she digs deep into all aspects of the revenue process and shares her findings across multiple content channels. Kim's writing experiences span tech companies, stunt blogging, education, and the real estate industry. Connect with Kim on LinkedIn.