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Following Up after a Trade Fair

Wednesday, 1. February 2017 | by: Alesja Alewelt | Follow-Up

Once the trade fair is over, many exhibitors find that their stand has attracted a large number of visitors and seems to have been designed so that it stood out well enough from the competition. Uppermost in their minds are the positive mood and the intense conversations they had with customers or potential customers. They’ve collected a lot of business cards and contact details, yet it is not unusual for these potential contacts to amount to nothing. The reason? Once the trade fair is over, it is vital to carry out effective follow-up work. Otherwise, there is no way to measure the success of the exhibit or, even more importantly, to increase the potential of the business itself. The follow up as a tip for a successful trade fair exhibit.  

Survey results following up a trade fair exhibit

QuickLead carried out a survey that found that around 44% of exhibitors reported that conversations held at the exhibition stand were not pursued after the trade fair had ended, and expressions of interest were not pursued. This was even the case when customers’ contact details were collected. When this happens, sales opportunities are thrown away.  

Half of all visitors to a specialist trade fair reported that there was no further contact with the exhibiting business after the trade fair. The proportion was lower at consumer exhibitions, yet even there a third of visitors reported no follow-up discussions. Only 26% of visitors to a specialist trade fair reported that they had been approached by the business afterward.   The subjects of the survey, which took place in March 2014, were 1,000 German nationals and 96 decision makers from the B2B sector. The survey confirmed the results of the 2008 study carried out by AUMA.    

Tips for following up after a trade fair

Businesses should contact prospects and new contacts immediately after the trade fair. The trade fair is still fresh in their minds, and visitors are still interested in the products and services being offered. Just a few weeks after the trade fair, this interest in a specific business declines, and visitors to the trade fair will begin to turn to competitors. The effect of taking part in the trade fair is significantly greater if follow-up efforts are carried out in a professional manner. Seventy-two per cent of visitors reported that they were satisfied with their visit to the trade fair. If, however, no subsequent contact was made, this value fell to 48%. This leads to the conclusion that effective follow-up efforts are vital.  

It is recommended that exhibitors record customer details in a database and retain notes from conversations. This means that, when contact is made, the process is quicker and more direct. Customers can be contacted by e-mail. Moreover, contacts tend to be made more easily and effectively when the relevant data is readily available and does not need to be painstakingly retrieved from notes taken on site. This means that you should do the following:  

• Note the customer’s details and requirements when discussing matters at the stand.

• Immediately after the trade fair, get in touch with customers and prospects and potentially send them flyers, brochures, or links to descriptions of your products and services.

• Tailor your response to the customer’s requirements and take into account any special requests.    

Appropriate follow-up after the end of the trade fair increases the satisfaction levels of both customers and prospects, thereby enhancing customer loyalty.    


provided by FAIRworldwide GmbH

Exhibition planning Follow-Up Customer loyalty
Bildschirmfoto 2019 04 16 um 12.31.03

About Alesja Alewelt

Alesja Alewelt, M.A., has been an event manager for over 15 years. In 2008, she founded the Bremen based event management agency, FAIRworldwide, successfully specializing in stands that are shared between multiple exhibitors. Her previous, extensive experience includes working as an event organizer in Munich, Germany, and Melbourne, Australia. Alesja Alewelt is currently involved in creating new concepts to optimize business processes for the sector, with a focus on the use of new technologies.

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