Attending or exhibiting at a trade show provides great opportunities to engage and increase your brand’s awareness while growing your own network.

For me, it’s not just showing up for a trade show  – there’s preparing and following a plan of action to find high quality leads to follow up with afterwards; making the ROI worth the cost of attending.

If you are like me at a show –  you are walking the floor while holding your mobile phone in your hand rather than having it in your pocket. I take advantage of that – here are five tactics I use effectively when attending a trade show or conference:

  • I arrange in-person meetings in advance with people that I want to get to know better;  networking at shows is my main priority.
  • I use social media sites to send blanket invites to potential clients, informing them that I’ll be in attendance. I find posting on both my business and personal pages and using the event hashtag pre-qualifies potential clients that I want to target at the show.
  • I push a notification out to my digital business card informing my clients of which trade show I’ll be attending and that I’m scheduling meetings with current clients who will also be there.
  • On the conference floor, I turn on an iBeacon that connects with everyone who has my digital business card. I’ll leave one iBeacon by the entrance gate. As a client passes through the entrance they’ll receive a welcome message on their lock screen with an invite to visit me at my booth. iBeacon technology creates an easy way to inform and engage clients of my location.
  • At my booth, I’ll turn on a second iBeacon that again connects to everyone that has my digital business card. This time my message is an incentivized one informing clients and leads of our conference contest so they’ll have a reason to stop at my booth. Attracting attention in front of my booth is key to capturing more qualified leads. I’ll push another update from my iBeacon to notifying leads when it is time to draw the contest winner.

Now I’m sure you are asking what iBeacon technology is –

iBeacon technology offers location and context options for triggering attention when they’re most effective and will resonate with clients.

iBeacons are short range transmitters that are placed inside your show booth or other physical location where you want to attract customer attention. It works with both iPhone and Android smartphones to enhance opportunities for businesses to message clients directly on their lock screen.

Attending a trade show is an opportunity to make many new contacts in a short time, but those contacts will be meaningless if I don’t follow up with them after the event.

Trade show ROI is a valuable one that I don’t intend to waste. One of my post-trade show tactics is to follow up using my digital business card to further engage my leads with updates that arrive on their lock screen.

Continuing to communicate with my leads on their mobile phone will remind them of me and they will be more likely to work with me and my company. Go where your clients are looking – on their mobile phone.