Trade Shows and Speaking Engagements: The Real Work Starts AFTER the Event

Trade Shows and Speaking Engagements: The Real Work Starts AFTER the Event

Although it’s great to walk away from a speaking engagement or a trade show with a stack of business cards, the work to turn those cards into business has barely begun.

Whether it’s a trade show or a speaking engagement, when you promise to follow up, it’s important to get that first communication out within one business day. With 40, 50, 100 or more cards, an assembly line approach is needed to make that happen while memories are still fresh. And you’ll knock their socks off by making the contact right away, because so few speakers and exhibitors do. Here’s how to make hay from a public appearance:

Build Your Lists: Have a draw for something the audience values and offer options on your draw slips. You don’t just want cards. You want permission to email. And you want to know who is actually interested in your products and services so ask those questions on the draw slips.

Sort, Qualify and Prioritize: First, sort the business cards and draw slips into stacks and count them. My categories include those interested in business coaching, those wanting to receive my newsletter, those wanting some quick feedback on a current business challenge and those not wanting further contact. This last batch of slips is easy – count them and dump them. For the rest, prioritize and take action.

Phone the Most Highly Qualified – As early as possible, phone and book face time or phone time with those most qualified. In this example, that would be those who said they were interested in coaching and those who shared a challenge they have in their business. Have a voice mail script ready too, because this is one time you do want to leave a message. This message should include why you are calling, and what you want them to do as a result of your call. After all, they did request a follow up from you.

Database Entries – Check for those who are already in your database and make any changes as necessary. Then enter all the rest and sort them into their categories in your database. Delegate wherever possible. Upload all to your email lists.

Personalized Templates – Create template emails, letters, phone scripts for each group and get those out a.s.a.p. Sending a follow up email AND making a call constitutes extraordinary service.

Book Time in Your Calendar: Schedule appointments and follow-up calls in your calendar, both for individuals and for follow up of this block of prospects.

Track Your Results: For each group, record the number, the actions and the results with each follow up activity. This is the only way you can figure out what’s working and what’s not. And you want to be doing what’s working because that’s what pays.


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