After attending MHEDA, the greatest supply chain trade show, there are some objectives you can strive for in order to stay connected to the innovations that advance your business objectives in the packaging industry. If you
followed our 10 Things To Do Before Attending MHEDA, you'll be confident in knowing the time you spent at the show was worthwhile.
- Segment Materials. Go through all the materials you received at the trade show and group them by the product and services that your most interested in learning about.
- Register. If there is a supplier listing or portal, make sure you register and complete all documentation to be considered for future RFQ’s.
- Evaluate. Identify if the costs of attending; admission, hotels, travel, other expenses and your time. Did the amount of new knowledge and connections make your attendance worthwhile? Evaluate what went well, what didn't, and what could be improved for next time. Keep it real - don't suggest "better weather" for next year. Pay special attention to feedback regarding communication to prospective customers. The "lessons learned" will help improve your efforts for future trade shows.
- Add Prospects right away. Did you know 79% of all Exhibit leads generated are not followed-up! Add the business cards you collected to your CRM for further nurturing and tracking. Make notes about the contacts interests or any other information helpful for follow up. Label contacts source as "MODEX trade show", so later when it leads to an order you can put a monetary value on success of attendance.
- Email within a Week. Send a personalized email within 3 days (up to 1 week) after the trade show. Ask open-end questions (not yes/no answers) type of business, needs and desires (importer, distributor, end user, etc.). Make sure to fulfill lead requests or promises and include a call to action (visit website, blog post, white paper download). If you decide to send a bulk non-personalized email, which is not ideal, be sure to us the bcc (blind carbon copy) field so that recipients are restricted to seeing their own email address.
- Call within 2 weeks. Pick up the phone and call contacts within 1-2 weeks. You may not call everyone you emailed but perhaps the people you made a special connection with.
- Send Mail within 1-2 weeks. That's right, snail mail! Within 1 to 2 weeks of the trade show send your physical marketing collateral (letter, brochure, thank you card, promotional items) along with a hand written note and your business card.
- Connect on LinkedIn. Connect with the new contacts via LinkedIn and endorse them, pay it forward! Join in the conversation, join groups that new contacts are in. If you haven't already, follow MHEDA's LinkedIn group page.
- Referrals. Don’t be afraid to give referrals and to ask for referrals from your new found contacts.
- Keep in touch. Stay top of mind by scheduling to touch base quarterly. Plan future written follow-up, special offers, new products/services, etc.
There is one crucial thing to remember, make sure you don’t lose the momentum. Impressions from the show may linger for a few days to a week but taper off quickly afterward, so you'll want to tap into the buzz while it's fresh.
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