This month we have been looking at planning and executing a successful marketing plan for a booth at an event or expo. We've followed Jon's story and have discussed the action that will help to mitigate those same results. You are not done yet. The event isn't truly over until you capture the gathered information and follow up on your promotional promise. Ideally, you will have already planned out how to ensure you finish the event strong!
- Capture the Information - Don't allow the information you gathered at the event go to waste sitting on someone's desk or in a drawer. Input the information into your database so that you can reference it at a later date. You can plan ahead for this by designating a member of your staff to put the information into your system After the event. Hand off the information and set a reasonable deadline for the completion of the data entry depending on the amount of collected information. If you don't have a customer database, use a spreadsheet or a tickler file in order to organize your leads.
- Follow Through -This is where you must fulfill the promise you made to leads at your booth. Whether it is sending out coupons or giving away a sample of your service, if you offered it, you absolutely have to deliver. All the work you put into planning Before and During the event will be wasted if you drop the ball. One undelivered promise can negate all of the desired results brought forth by your planning and execution. Customer perception is the only reality that matters to the ongoing success of your business. If they perceive the business as untrustworthy, it is. Don't let that happen.
- Debrief - The event debrief with your employees is as important as the planning Before the event. Talk with your staff. Get their opinions on the success of the event. Get their opinions on how it could have been done differently. Reviewing the event gives the business insight on how to make the next event that much better. This may happen weeks after the event but should include all aspects of the event, including the follow up that occurred with prospects. Be open to constructive criticism and ideas from your staff. Utilize the resources you have at hand to make your next event even more successful.
Remember that After the event is all about action. If you wait for the leads to pick up the phone and call your business you will be leaving opportunities on the table and your competition will have a much easier time gaining business. Don't forget to join us next week for an event planning checklist!