How to Maximize Sales after Trade Shows

Did you know that over 80% of the leads captured at trade shows are never followed up?

Over 98% of companies do collect leads at trade shows but most of those leads are never followed up.


Even though this number has come into question with more recent studies the fact remains that over 70% of companies do not have a formalized follow-up plan for the leads they generated at a trade show.

The top 3 goals for exhibitors at trade shows are:

  • Brand awareness.
  • Lead generation.
  • Relationship building.

Most companies are just happy with building brand awareness but this makes it difficult to measure ROI.

Why would you spend all this time and energy and not have a formalized plan to measure an ROI?

In this post, I’ll go over a simple strategy that will give you 3 things:

  1. You’ll be able to follow-up with every single person that steps on your booth BEFORE they actually leave your booth to create instant follow-up
  2. You’ll be able to nurture that relationship with a sale for a few weeks after the show in a totally automated process.
  3. You’ll also build a database of interested prospects that visited your booth that you can re-market throughout the whole year.

This one little idea is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and could be worth millions of dollar’s worth of sales to your company.

Trade Shows Spend/Stats

B2B exhibitions were 39.2% of B2B marketing budgets in 2011.

The largest amount of any marketing channel.

The average company spends about $15,000 on trade shows.

trade show

Some companies spend up to $1,000,000 dollars at trade shows.

The cost has significantly increased over the years and you don’t have a formalized follow-up plan it can quickly make your company broke.

There’s not as much traffic at trade shows as they once were.

People use the internet more than ever to view new products.

The behavior of the consumer has changed.

Benefits of Attending Trade Shows

If you have the right plan in place the benefits of attending a trade show can be enormous.

You can sleuth the competition, create new business partnerships, create company awareness, and generate leads that convert to more sales.

It’s important to have specific goals before attending a trade show so you can measure the effect afterward.

Not all trade shows are created equal. 

Make sure the attendees at the trade show align with your ideal customers.

The Sales is in the Follow-Up

Most trade shows allow you to scan a badge to capture people’s contact information.

I attended a trade show last year and I got my badge scanned 92 times and only 3 companies followed up with me.

They sent me a company brochure that didn’t have any relevant information on what we had spoken about.

Most sales are made in the follow-up.

But if you don’t have a system in place, then it can difficult to track and follow up all your leads.


A simple system you can use is to create a lead capture form and have an iPad where people can input their contact information.

You can use a lot of different types of software to create this.

You can use Clickfunnels, Leadpages, or Hubspot to create the landing page. 

You then integrate with your CRM or with your email marketing platform.

I’ll be, demonstrating how to build an automated follow-up sequence using Leadpages and ActiveCampaign.

  • Log into Leadpages and create a landing page with a lead capture.


  • Make sure the ethical bribe you are offering has been tested before and it’s something that your ideal customer would want. (In this example, I’m using a checklist as the ethical bribe to get people to sign up).
  • Go to the editor and choose a landing page template. leadpage 2
  • In the editor you can create and edit the landing page – The copy is important here.

leadpage 3

  • Make sure you to integrate with your email provider. In this, I’m choosing ActiveCampaign.

leadpage 4

  • In order to integrate with your email provider, you have to go to the setting on Leadpages and get your ActiveCampaign ID and input the information.

leadpage 5

  • The last thing is to make sure to have the LeadMagnet setting on. Once someone inputs their information they automatically receive an email with the Lead Magnet.


  • You’re now finished and you can publish your landing page.

I created this landing page in 10 minutes: Trade Show Landing Page


For ActiveCampaign, you have to first create a form and a new list.

I’ll go over the steps on how to do this now.

  • Login and create a new account. ActiveCampaign has a free trail. 


  • Once you’re logged in you have to create a new list and a new subscription form.

active 2

  • Name the new list something that will be easy to remember. 


  • Click on integration’s to create your subscription form. 

list 2

  • Give the form a name.

list 3

  • Here you can add different fields – I added a number field.

list 4

It’s important to remember that you have to create the subscription form on ActiveCampaign first before you can integrate with your Leadpages account.

Follow-Up Sequence

The follow-up sequence will be based on many factors depending on what your sales process looks like.

Make sure you have a lead scoring system in place that lets you qualify your leads.

ActiveCampaign allows you to tag and segment your leads.

Every business has a different qualification system.

Therefore, you should make sure you have some qualifying questions before they submit their information.

You can create multiple lists and multiple landing pages and have different sequences for each.

Lead Qualification Form

You can create an additional form in your sales funnel and have a qualification form.

You have to decide if you want people to take an additional step in filling out information.

This can lead to fewer leads but it might lead to better more qualified leads.

Email Follow Up Examples

A good template you can use to follow up with the email is something Hubspot can provide guidance in:

Dear [Prospect],

What an exciting show. I hope you made great connections and learned some things you can use in your business immediately.

I am sure that increasing sales effectively [objective] is on the top of your list. As we promised, here is “Six Ways to Increase Your Sales” [piece of content].

If you would like more in-depth information on any of the ways [details of content], I’d be delighted to have a 30 minute conversation with you to dive into that.

I’m here to be a resource to you, so don’t hesitate to call.

Best regards,


Here’s another version you can use from Hubspot.

Remember to make sure your follow up emails always add value. 

I can’t tell you how many times the follow-up emails I’ve received are just brochures of the company’s products.hubspot

If you didn’t get a chance to qualify your leads at the show, you can do so with your email follow-up sequence.

A good way to do this is to provide 2-3 different call to actions when you send an email.

For example, in your follow-up email, you can give them the option to download a checklist, request a demo, or a white paper.

This allows you to qualify the leads that are most interested in doing business with you.

You can tag these leads in your CRM and assign them to your sales rep to follow-up with a phone call.

More email Follow Up Tips

  • Once you’ve qualified your leads make sure to personalize each email. Assign the different leads to your sales rep and put their contact information in the email. This way it allows the prospect to contact the rep.
  • Remind your prospects of any announcements you made at the show. Make sure your emails are value added and not just brochures of your business.
  • Design separate campaigns for the leads that registered at your booth and those that were provided by the show organizers to the exhibitors.
  • Segment your leads into different vertical markets. Design different email sequences for each vertical that provides relevant information. For example, you can different campaigns for a lawyer, an architect or an engineer. 

Sales Follow Up

Once you’ve designed an email campaign and qualified your leads it’s time to start the sales follow up.

How many follow-ups does it take to make a sale?

80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the initial meeting.

44% of sales reps give up after the first meeting.

This means, in order to maximize your sales opportunities you have to be persistent without being annoying.

You can design many different types of follow up campaigns but the best one is one that integrates emails and phone calls.

For more information on how to design a sales follow-up campaign check out these posts below:

Once you’ve finished your email and phone call follow-up campaign it’s time to segment the leads into different categories.

Most of the time prospects won’t buy from you because of timing.

Lead Nurture

Make sure you have a lead nurturing program that does the following three things:

Educates, repeats the offers, and has variety.

Education– You should provide content that educates your prospect.

This can come in the form of blog posts, curated content, info-graphics, and videos.

Repeat– A lot of times prospects forget about your offers – Life gets in the way and they never come around to it.

It’s your job to remain top of mind.

For example, last year I wanted to purchase a new car but I decided to move across the country and postpone the purchase.

The sales rep has remained top of mind by providing valuable information every month.

When I decide to purchase a new car later this year who do you think will be the first person I call?

Variety– Many times a prospect doesn’t check their inbox but they check their mail religiously.

It’s your job to try to reach them in as many different channels as you can.

Some people respond in different ways.


Companies spend an incredible amount of money on trade shows and do not see the results they should be seeing.

In order to maximize your opportunities, you have to have a solid plan before and after attending trade shows.

In this post, I’ve provided you with a simple sales sequence you can use to follow-up with your leads.

If you want to learn more on how you can automate the entire process please contact me and we’ll talk. 

About the Author

My name is Mauricio and I'm the founder The Cardenal Group. I write about online marketing, sales, and entrepreneurship.

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