The days after a big event that you’ve been planning and preparing for months for can feel flat, but this is the time when your activity levels should be through the roof.

You no longer have to worry about what flyers you need or whether your freebie is going to go like hotcakes.

Instead, you should be focused on following up with leads and nurturing the prospects you met at the event.

Graph showing effective event follow up methods

Source

The follow up is the most important part of an event.

Think about it:

You’ve spent months preparing your exhibit, getting the right marketing materials and practicing your sales pitch.

During the event, you speak to hundreds of people who are receptive to your product — people who are at this event actively looking for something like what you’re offering.

If you don’t follow up, that stall next to yours who had a similarly decent product might — and guess who’s going to win the customer if that’s the case?

Basically, your follow up is vital.

But where do you even start?

Three Things to Remember for Your Event Follow Up

  • Act fast — You want to stay fresh in attendees’ minds and, to do that, you have to strike while the iron is hot. This means following up within a day or so of the event rather than a couple of weeks later when all the excitement has died down.
  • Personalize your approach — What works for one prospect isn’t going to work for another, which is why it’s important to personalize and tailor your follow ups where you can (we’ll talk more about this in a moment).
  • Make sure your offer is valuable and relevant — Your sales pitch and follow up might be the best in the world, but if your product isn’t relevant to the people you’re reaching out to, you’re not going to have much success.

How to Follow Up After an Event: The Strategies You Need to Know

The most common way to follow up after a big event is via email.

Chances are, you spoke to countless potential prospects at the event, and this is the easiest medium to reach them all with.

That said, if you want to get responses and secure those leads, you have to send the right emails.

Top Tips for Your Follow-Up Email:

  • Keep things short. Your prospects are busy, so get to the point as quickly as possible.
  • Remind people who you are. Remember that your booth visitors probably visited a ton of other vendors at the event, so quickly remind them who you are and, if you can, throw in a snippet of something you spoke about to add a human touch.
  • Have a clear call-to-action (CTA). Consider inviting people to book a demo or get them to download a premium piece of content.

When to Send Your Follow-Up Emails

Email 1: One to Three Business Days After the Event

The first email should be the one that strikes while the iron is hot. This is a quick reminder of who you are, a recap of the conversation you had and a push toward a clear CTA.

This email is short, sweet and to the point.

You can use this email to determine who is a quality lead and who might not be the best fit for your business by who acts on your email. This will help you segment your follow-up list in order of who’s most likely to convert.

Email 2: One Week After the Event

While you don’t want to harass people who aren’t interested in what you’re offering, it’s a common fact that people’s inboxes can get out of hand (particularly after an event) which means they might have missed your first email.

To these people — the people who didn’t act on your previous CTA — you can send another follow-up email reminding them about the piece of premium content or the free demo you’re offering.

You’ll find that you’ll get a swathe of new leads to add to your “hot” leads list.

Email 3: For the Hottest Leads Only

No two prospects are the same.

At any event, you’ll get a slew of booth visitors who are super keen on your product. They’ll be ready and raring to go and might ask to book a demo there and then.

Then there’ll be other visitors who are “just browsing” or aren’t quite sure they need your product yet.

While emails 1 and 2 capture the attention of every booth visitor, you ideally want to send another email to your hottest leads.

It would be foolish to ignore someone who’s specifically asked for a demo and instead send them the premium content you’re giving to all prospects, right?

This email should be highly personalized to each specific prospect, touching on the conversation you had at the event and giving them all the information they need to book the demo they requested or to sign up for a free trial.

If you’re feeling particularly optimistic, you might send the contact information for these leads directly to your sales team.

Continue to Convert

By this point, you’ve prioritized sending emails to your hottest leads, but you’ve also sent out two emails to not-so-hot prospects who are now warming up to you.

These cooler prospects might not be ready to invest in your product just yet, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be in the future.

This is why you need a lead nurturing strategy so you can continue warming up prospects, converting them into hotter leads and, eventually, into paying customers.

Send out regular emails reminding subscribers about the value of your product, share customer case studies and offer tutorials on how to use your product to eliminate any doubts they might have.

This is a long-term strategy but, if done right, can have you converting leads from events months or even years after the show has ended.

Ready to make the most of your next event? Make sure you have a follow-up strategy in place that keeps you front of mind and warms up even the coldest of prospects.

Related Articles:

4 Reasons Why You Should Hire an Agency to Plan Your Next Trade Show Exhibit

The Dirty Dozen: 12 Event Marketing Strategy Killers and How to Fix Them

8 Tips for Exhibiting at Industry Trade Shows