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Using a CRM to Follow Up on Trade Show Leads

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and the term is self-explanatory because all companies & organizations strive to meet customer needs and expectations. CRMs have been in use by organizations for years, but the actual term came into use during the advent of technology in business. Implementing a CRM system is the best way an organization has a chance at succeeding in this competitive era.


At trade shows, businesses get a chance to gain new leads, make new contacts and even sell their products & services to actual buyers. 86% of the people attending a trade show have the authority to purchase, according to a survey from Additionally, they have found that 79% of trade show leads are never followed up afterwards. This means that if you pitch yourself in the right way using a CRM system following a trade show, there is a high possibility that you will generate even more leads and sales.

Using the technology of a CRM system, to follow-up on leads can help you attain your long-term goals. Trade show leads can help you retain profitable customers & also find new customers. To follow-up on these leads, you need to incorporate a CRM system. Some CRM applications scan business cards and input contact information right from the trade show. This gives a company the chance to establish adequate customer retention strategies and communicate easily with new contacts. A cloud-based CRM system is especially helpful because it allows the entire team/company to connect on a single platform, enabling efficient exchange of company and customer data, from anywhere in the world, even at a trade show.

CRM systems convert your leads into sales through effective marketing plans. Pre or post marketing for a trade show can be easily planned by your CRM software using Campaign features. With just a few clicks, you are able to create effective marketing, easily communicate with prospects and stay top of mind to continue nurturing more opportunities.

If you are still using traditional means to follow-up on trade show leads, consider implementing a CRM system to help organize information, quickly follow-up with prospects and increase the potential of more opportunities for your business.

value-of-trade-showsTrade shows are still highly valued by exhibitors and attendees. The Value of Trade Shows white paper reveals how exhibitors and attendees find significant value in trade shows which will help you justify your trade show program or get you more involved. Click here to request your free copy.


About the Author

Michael Flavin is a trade show strategist & exhibit consultant at Skyline Exhibits & Graphics Mid-America in St. Louis, MO. He works with companies & organizations to eliminate headaches from their trade show, event marketing & recruiting programs. Overall, he offers total, turn-key solutions, focused on creating memorable experiences, lowering operating expenses and increasing ROI. In addition, Michael consults & trains booth staffers and helps companies measure results from their trade show programs. He also helps exhibit marketers design St. Louis trade show displays.

5 responses to “Using a CRM to Follow Up on Trade Show Leads

  1. Michael, do you have any suggestions of CRMs that are not high-priced? We are looking for something to start off with that isn’t a big name item, like Salesforce. We have a small budget.

  2. Hi Karen, thanks for your comment. There are quite a few CRM systems available these days, all with varying degrees of capabilities & price ranges.

    Knowing more about your objectives would help me to narrow down some options. Give me a call at 314-373-8150.

  3. what is the tradeshows industry’s standard for the percentage of leads one should capture in their booth based off the total attendance number? ex) if you have 20K attendees how many or what percentage should be scanned in your booth?

  4. Hi Sherri,

    That’s a great question. I’ve not seen a specific study on this topic and that’s because everyone has different objectives at a trade show.

    To figure out what your average should be, first outline your objectives at the show (eg. speak to everyone with XYZ in the title). For some exhibitors, this could be a total qty. or 10, or 100, or 1000.

    I wrote a blog on a similar topic awhile back which might also be helpful for you (link below).

    Let me know if I can help in any other way.

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