Trade Shows 101


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ATTENTION: Some of the posts below will redirect you to our sister site Trade Show I found that trade shows deserve their own site so will be transitioning anything on the Sales Pro Blog to the new site.

Trade show success isn't a big secret. It involves specific and timely actions that any salesperson or company can implement.

The biggest problem most companies have is around the follow up that is needed after a trade show


Most people measure the success of a trade show during the trade show.

  • How many booth visits
  • How many badges scanned
  • How many demos given
  • HOw many hands shaked.

This is a mistake

The key is follow up

Company conferences, trade shows, and events can be a huge boon to sales when followed up on correctly. However, without the sales team taking advantage of every opportunity that appeared it could all have been a big waste of time.

Here are a few simple activities you can do after your next trade show to help take advantage of every opportunity.

Follow Up With Every Attendee

This should be a no brainier. Follow up is the #1 activity that should be done immediately after a trade show event.

Sure the attending clients were as excited as kids in a candy store but once they are separated from the event-work and life takes over again. They have conference calls, meetings, budgets, and all the other necessary evils in the professional world.

Besides, its not their job to follow up. It's YOURS!

You are the sales representative. You are the one earning commissions. And you are supposed to be their partner and make their lives easier.

Your follow up can be done either by phone or email, which ever you think that specific client will prefer. And it should include three (3) parts.


  • What were their thoughts on the event.
  • Did they enjoy their time?
  • Did they have any issues registering, arriving, finding the venue?
  • Do they feel it was a valuable use of their time and money?


  • Do they have any specific feedback you can take back to your event team?
  • What did they think of the schedule?
  • What did they think of the presentations.
  • Did they not like the food?
  • Do they have suggestions to make next year even better?


  • What piqued their interest during the event?
  • Did they really like the presentations on property management or did they prefer the accounting sessions?
  • Do they want to see more about your resident and tenant portals?
  • Or is the new version release their biggest concern.
  • This is where you will be able to draft your plan of action for up-sell opportunities.

What Did They Do During The Event

This may not be true with every company event but at ours we had specific sessions for training and Q&As; available during the three days. During registration we asked that attendees let us know which sessions they would like to attend. After the event every Account Executive was given a list of their clients that attended and the sessions they registered for.

This information should be used to craft your follow up to the attendee.

"Hey Kristi, I see you attended the Resident Connect session at the IUC. What did you think? I'm here to answer any follow up questions you might have. I have my team ready to get any pricing you need as well. Or if you'd like to see a more in-depth demonstration, specific to your business I'd be happy to set that up"

Understanding what they were interested in during the company event will help you determine what up-sell opportunities there are for each account.

Provide A Discount For Attending

After a company conference it is common practice for attendees to receive a discount offer. This might be a blanket 50% Off discount or it could be specific to the sessions they attended.

This offer will vary based on your product, industry, and company but is a great way to move deals through the pipeline immediately. Both new ones and those that have become stagnant.

If your company doesn't offer something like this then touch base with your manager to see if you can offer a special discount to your individual clients.

Be sure to provide an expiration date (i.e. offer ends 30 days from event) and any stipulations necessary.

Decide On Trade Show Giveaways For Next Year

More than likely your company also provided trade show giveaways during the event.

These could range from your normal giveaways to higher end items such as branded backpacks and flash drives. Or could have given away cash prices such as discounts on your products, Starbucks gift cards, and VISA gift cards. Or straight cash.

Whatever was given away be sure to check with the attendees to see what was most popular. This will help you decide what was most appealing and that you should hand out to other prospects and clients of yours.

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