Cultivating Trade Show Leads: By the Numbers

Hosting a trade show exhibit can be one of the most exhilarating – and the most draining – experiences you will ever have. The travel … the booth setup … the non-stop conversations with prospects combined with frenzied note-taking … the display tear-down. As a salesperson, you might be tempted to take a day off after attending a large marketing event, but the truth is, nothing could hurt your sales more.

Although you may be exhausted, the day after the show is definitely not the time to ease off the accelerator. In fact, the 24-hour post-show period is a precious window of time during which you need to kick things into high gear if you want to beat your competitors to the punch.


We’ve studied the numbers and put together a handy lead cultivation infographic for you (see below). The bottom line: Speed and a consistent lead follow-up plan are the keys to converting leads into paying customers.


The average number of days it takes for most companies to follow up on trade show leads


The average percentage of trade show leads that receive no follow-up at all


The number of hours within which you a serious salesperson absolutely MUST send a thank-you or follow-up email to a trade show lead

TIP #1: According to The Exhibitor, your thank-you email should include some simple references to your website or online catalog to help the prospect remember who you are.

TIP #2: According to Charles Olentin of Trade Show News Network, you can’t always trust that a prospect has given you a bona fide email address – or that they haven’t made a mistake when writing it down – so if you want to be really original, send a handwritten postcard instead.


The number of weeks you have to make a follow-up phone call

TIP #3: According to 2009 Lead Response Management study, the best days to contact leads are Wednesday and Thursday between the hours of 4 and 6 p.m.


The maximum number of days that should pass before inviting your prospect to an open house, corporate event, seminar or webinar


The number of months within which to send the prospect a special offer or personalized discount code

See the full-sized infographiclead-cultivation-infographic

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