You’ve registered your company for the big trade show and highlighted it in red on your marketing calendar. You’ve spent months preparing, promoting digital campaigns around your presence at the event. The adrenaline keeps you going right up until the day – then it’s over and you’re ready to crash.

But your job is not over just yet!

Though many B2B companies are attending about 50 events throughout the year and spending more than 25 percent of their marketing budgets on in-person trade shows, only 6 percent do any real-time follow-up.

We often forget that it takes an average of six to eight touches to generate a qualified lead. It would be like spending a large portion of your paycheck on a fancy gym membership, going once and expecting a rock hard body (I don’t do this all the time :/)…

Handing these potential leads off to your sales team won’t get the job done either.

I’m sure you guessed where this is going: I’m about to suggest you follow up with CONTENT. No way, we’re suggesting more content?!

Think about specific goals you hope to achieve and metrics to track to determine whether the event was a success. Then, follow these steps to achieve those goals:

1. Email

  • Rank your leads by how sales-ready they are. Also, try to grab an entire attendee list from the event, as you don’t want to miss out on those who may have missed your booth or you didn’t end up meeting. Enter these lists into an email automation tool for tailored emails.
  • Send a Thank You follow up to those you met. For those you didn’t, send a ‘Sorry to have missed you, but here is some information about our company’ message.  
  • Send out a roundup of favorite speakers or workshops with opinions and your own insights. If you spoke or had a booth, send a video or photo from the event.

2. Social

  • Share any videos or presentations from workshops your company led.
  • Don’t forget to follow all the new people you met!
  • Check out tools like Buffer, Hootsuite and Sproutsocial that will give you insights into the conversations that occurred before, during and after the event. What questions is the audience asking, what answers can you provide?

3. New Content

  • Keep track of attendees’ frequently asked questions. You can use this information to inform your product pages or product-specific animations!
  • Remember those social conversations you found? Use these for industry-specific eBooks or white papers.

4. Landing Pages

  • Create a dedicated event landing page. Host the eBooks or white papers you wrote to further engage those in event-related conversations. Don’t have enough time? Refresh some of your existing content that speaks to the same conversations and promote that!
  • Send users here by posting on social media, including in emails and creating a banner on your web page!

5. Analyze

  • At this point I bet you’ve forgotten why you’ve put in all this effort? Thought it was to meet (and keep) a lot of cool new friends? We want to make money!
  • Remember those goals and metrics I had you set up beforehand? Think about what makes this event a success for you. Did those follow-up emails close any leads? How many users visited the dedicated event landing page? Any new social followers?

Face-to-face events can go a long way. But just because attendees received free company swag from your booth doesn’t make them your next best friend or potential customer. Don’t let them forget you.

You were at this event because you were interested in new opportunities. Show your new connections that you can solve the pain points that made them show up to the event in the first place!

Casey Weston is a Content Marketing Strategist in Boston. She can expertly consult on digital strategies and where to dine for your next pizza. Loving to travel, she's on a mission to find the best za the world has to offer.