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After the Event: Ideas and Checklists

You've just returned from a successful trade show, conference, seminar or other event. You made new connections, collected many leads and landed several sales. Great! Now, the real work begins. Excellent marketing opportunities present themselves after events. Take advantage of these opportunities with these ideas and checklists for after the event.

Follow up

Personally call your new leads and connections to tell them that you enjoyed meeting them at the event. Don't make it a sales pitch — call in earnest, and bring up topics they discussed at the event. Let them know you value them as a human being, and not just a dollar sign. Politely remind them that you're available to discuss your products and services at their convenience, but if they do not pursue don't push the issue. Make sure they have your contact information and tell them you're looking forward to seeing them at the next event.

Market to the list ...

Launch a direct-marketing campaign aimed at the list of event attendees, whether you spoke with them or not. Let them know that you were also in attendance, and follow through with standard direct-mail principles: include an offer and a call to action. Postcards are a great way to do this, especially if you want to lead prospects to your website. If possible, segment your direct-mail postcard campaign. Make sure you do launch your campaign while the event is still fresh in your prospects' minds.

... And repeat

Keep your new prospects on your mailing list, and market to them whenever you launch a relevant campaign. If you met them at an annual event, send a postcard letting them know you look forward to seeing them as the next one draws closer. You might be able to pre-schedule an appointment at the event; and you'll earn brand recognition you can employ at the next big event.

Fulfill orders and send thank-you cards

Naturally, you'll want to fulfill all the orders you received at the event. You should also send thank-you cards to your new customers as a token of your appreciation. Building relationships with your customers is key to business longevity, especially when you see your customers on a face-to-face basis.

Compare and contract

Hold a meeting with your team after the event to determine whether the event was a success, what your return on investment was, what you could have done differently and whether you should attend the following year. Make an honest assessment of your event strategy so you can fine-tune your approach for increased success. After the event activities can take as much time, money and energy as before the event activities, and can also yield similar (or even higher return on investment). Many events are large, and your prospects can't always get around to you. Take care and consideration with follow-ups, market to those you missed and fine-tune your event strategy to build a foundation for success.