Making your trade show presence a “hybrid” (with a virtual component) can significantly augment your reach. For folks who are unable to attend the physical event, your virtual booth allows you to connect with prospects you otherwise would have missed. In this posting, however, I’d like to explore methods for leveraging a virtual booth to follow up with leads from your physical booth.
The “greening” of booth collateral
With a virtual booth to complement your physical booth, you can print less (paper) collateral to bring to your next trade show. Visitors are invited to peruse your printed collateral and if they want to take a copy, they can access your virtual booth (from a display at your physical booth) to place the requested documents into their virtual briefcase.
When they return to the office, they’ll receive an email with a link to take them back into the virtual booth – and from there, they can download the PDF’s from their virtual briefcase. The email follow-up and virtual briefcase lend themselves well to lead qualification, as you’ll be able to track whether prospects responded to the email (i.e. logged into the virtual booth) – and, review which documents they viewed and downloaded.
Nurturing the less qualified leads
You’re bound to have some booth visitors who did not take printed documents – and, did not interact with your on-site virtual booth. All you have is their business card, or their business profile (from scanning their badges). These prospects showed interest by visiting your booth and they can be valuable leads.
Try nurturing these leads by inviting them to visit your virtual booth. Include an image of your virtual booth in the email offer and make it easy for them to respond. Since you already have their basic business profile (e.g. name, title, company, email address, etc.), pre-register them for your virtual booth and ensure that a single click brings them directly in.
Once there, provide them with access to a “personalized briefcase“, with content tailored to their particular interests or needs. The beauty of the virtual booth is that it now acts as a mini marketing automation system, allowing you to track which content is viewed by the prospect. Then, feed this data back into your “real” marketing automation system and CRM system, so that Sales is armed with new intelligence on this potential buyer.
Engage with Prospects in Real-Time
If you’re successful in getting prospects to respond to your virtual booth offers, then add staffers to your booth to match the amount of traffic you’re getting. Initially, you’ll probably see intermittent traffic, as a visitor (or a few) enter your booth at random times during the day. But view this as an opportunity to re-engage with prospects.
When they enter the virtual booth, ensure they know who’s there and provide clear calls-to-action on how they can engage with your staffers. Visitors to your virtual booth are raising their hands and signaling to you that they have a further interest. Make sure you deliver to them what they came to receive.
Virtual booths can be a great way to augment the reach of your physical booth. Think about using them as the foundation of your post-event follow-up as well. They can be a great vehicle for moving the prospect down the sales funnel.