Hello AirCargo Allies, and welcome back to our ROI series! The AirCargo Conference has an attendee-returnee rate averaging 85% and attendee-satisfaction rate ranking 2X that of other national conferences! When you invest in showcasing your brand at the AirCargo Conference, you’re investing in an engaged and qualified audience of leads in the airfreight and air cargo supply chain. Let’s talk about how to turn those investment dollars into lead conversions. 

Do you recall the Trade Event ROI Benchmarks we covered in the first post in this series, ROI Benchmarks and How to Go After Them

Event ROI Benchmarks

  • Among Fortune 500 companies, 14% reported a 5:1 return on investment (ROI) from their trade show exhibitions, earning $5 for every $1 invested.
  • Converting a trade show lead is 38% less expensive than relying on sales calls alone.
  • On average, it takes approximately 3.5 sales calls to close a lead generated at a trade show.
  • Up to 10% of trade show leads will convert given the right follow up tactics.

With these benchmarks in mind, it seems worthwhile to go after the conversion. In other words, let’s turn those networking contacts into new business! Here’s how!

Up to 10% of trade show leads will convert given the right follow up tactics.

(Source: Tradeshow Labs, 2023)

5 Proven Tactics to Boost Your Trade Event ROI

  • Qualify your leads at the conference. One challenge that trade show and event exhibitors report is not having a clear vision of which leads to work first after the event. The problem is, these exhibitors are not qualifying their leads at the event, which can lead to a messy jumble of new contacts who aren’t prioritized. Qualifying leads during a trade show requires a clear tactical plan because you’re engaged in non-stop action. First, establish criteria with your team in advance of the show, and utilize this criteria for lead qualification in real-time. You may consider trying the BANT method, noting each new contact’s potential.

The BANT Method:

  • Follow up with a sense of urgency. Numerous studies report that the vendor who follows up first closes 35-50% of leads. If you’ve applied step one and qualified your leads on-site, then try to follow up within 48 hours of meeting each one.

The vendor who follows up first closes 35-50% of leads. 

(Source: Tradeshow Labs, 2023)
  • Personalize your follow-up communication. Your new leads want to know that you remember them, and that means reflecting back part of your conversation (and perhaps, research!) in your follow-up message. When you identify topics like their current market position, pain points, new technologies, or the contacts you have in common, you’re demonstrating that you know how to listen. Your ability to listen means that you’ve got potential to be a great business partner.
  • Measure results. Before the event, take the time to establish a few clear goals. How many new industry contacts do you hope to meet? What response rate do you want to accomplish in your follow-up communication? How much new revenue do you expect to generate from potential customers you meet at this event? By establishing this criteria in advance, you will have developed a path for tracking your progress and making improvements to meet your goals. 
  • Ask for feedback. Take advantage of the insights and opinions of those you meet at the conference. Directly solicit feedback verbally, by email, or through a survey at a few different  touch points throughout your communication. Be sure to let your new contacts know you appreciate their feedback and work to apply the points that make sense to you and your business team.

(Source: LinkedIn Collaborative Articles)

We hope you’ve learned a few new tactics in this blog post for lead conversion. Apply these best practices at trade events to your follow-up communication plan to boost your trade event ROI! Be sure to check out the first post in this ROI series on our News and Blog page. And, we certainly hope you’ll join us at AirCargo 2024! Let’s MIX IT UP in Louisville, KY, U.S.A.!