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June 20, 2017
Win-Win Strategies for Trade Show Lead Generation
Liz Brohan

It’s safe to say that every now and then sales and marketing are at odds with one another. One instance where this dynamic tends to surface is during trade show planning. That’s because, oftentimes, sales has one agenda and marketing has another. More specifically, it comes down to the difference between how sales and marketing define a lead.

Sales and marketing disagree on lead criteria.

Marketing may look at lead generation as a range of engagement with prospects. In this instance, they will look to score the lead and determine how best to nurture it through the pipeline. These leads can come from many sources including a scanned badge or participation in a product demo.

Sales, on the other hand, may more narrowly define a lead as something highly qualified. Surprisingly, sales might even define it as a new opportunity with an existing customer, leaving prospects out of the equation all together.

CBD, along with two of its clients, Firestone Building Products and Whirlpool Corporation, will discuss this topic and more at the upcoming Connect to Convert conference August 21-23 in New York.

Both of these large corporations are respected leaders in their industry and have much to share about creating a win-win trade show strategy for both sales and marketing.

It all starts with getting everyone to agree on goals and objectives. It’s okay to have several—as long as each one has clearly articulated criteria and metrics. Once agreed upon, you can work together to determine the strategies that will accomplish each goal.

Pre-show outreach attracts higher-quality leads.

Encouraging customers to schedule a meeting at the show will be key in helping the sales team generate more revenue through retention and loyalty. Be sure to prioritize this outreach, structure it as a series of high-touch, highly personalized initiatives, and include a strong incentive.

During-show engagement draws participation.

The importance of onsite marketing during the show increases when a large volume of qualified attendees are needed to achieve your goals, like attending a specific, planned event. Used strategically, tactics such as room drops, seat drops, the show daily, and social media work best to ensure participation from both your best prospects and those newly on your radar.

Post-show conversations lead to conversions.

You’ll want to make sure your follow-up communications are deployed immediately and consistently. Your strategy should take into account where the lead is in the sales funnel. For example, relevant content can be used to deepen engagement with leads at the onset of the sales cycle, while strengthening an offer should be considered to assist with conversion.


You’ll hear much more about trade show lead generation planning, objective setting, and strategy development at our presentation on Wednesday, August 23 at the Connect and Convert conference.

Let us know if we’ll see you there and if you have any specific things you’d like to learn about ensuring trade show ROI.