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Use Your Trade Show Presence to Satisfy and Retain Existing B2B Clients

November 06, 2019

Any business person should know that acquiring new customers is far more expensive than retaining existing ones. Yet some companies don’t take this detail seriously when it comes to exhibiting at trade shows. Rather than having such a narrow focus on accumulating more badge scans and increasing traffic, remember that it’s important to shift some of your focus to caring for your current clients.

For a B2B marketer, a trade show is a top opportunity for nurturing relationships with existing clients. Here are our tips on how to do so:  


Know who your clients are

If a client is visiting your booth, it’s your booth staffers’ job to recognize them as more than just a face in the crowd. With an engaging booth, there will always be many people coming and going, so simply relying on facial recognition won’t ensure that you’ll be able to pick out all your present customers. Although it’s a good start if you are able to remember what some of your bigger clients look like, here are some other useful strategies to make sure you’re engaging with your clients:


Send RSVPs to current clients to figure out who’s coming.
As mentioned, remembering what your clients look like is easier said than done when your booth staff is seeing hundreds of faces a day. Rather than trying to memorize your entire list of client faces, you can use your RSVP list to see who actually plans on attending and ask your booth staff to become familiar with these faces. Fewer faces to remember will help your team recognize clients right off the bat and greet those clients warmly.


Ask the right questions during initial conversations.
Train your booth staff to ask the right questions when people enter your company’s exhibit. Asking things like, “Has our company been on your radar before the show?” will allow them to mention if they are a client, which then allows your staff to adjust the conversation accordingly.


Send a gift offer to clients that they can receive in the booth.
When inviting your clients to the show, include a printable slip in your email and tell them that they can bring it to the show to claim a gift. This is a surefire way to figure out which people in your booth are clients when they come to claim their gift.


Make it a point to have more meaningful and deep conversations with visiting clients

Increasing customer retention has proven to correlate with a large increase in profits. Making sure that your clients feel appreciated, heard, and acknowledged is key to ensuring that they aren’t swept off their feet by the booth across the show floor. Making sure that clients don’t move on from your business takes a lot of effort. Here are some tips on adding to those efforts during your trade shows once you know who your clients are in your booth:


Make them feel appreciated.
There are likely many fish in your industry’s sea, and your clients chose you. They took their business to you and are willing to trust you over anyone else - that calls for some appreciation! To show appreciation to your clients at a trade show, start off with thanking them for their business wholeheartedly. A simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way. You can also offer them a gift for attending your exhibit, which could be something like a discount on their next purchase with you, a free service, or even a gift card.

Another aspect of your exhibit that can show appreciation for clients is a meeting room. A more comfortable and quiet space to rest can also allow for more private and deeper conversations to happen. Not only will clients feel comfortable, they’ll also want to spend more time in your booth. There are lots of great reasons to implement a conference room in your booth space!  


Make them feel heard and acknowledged.
By asking your clients how your company is doing a good job of serving their needs and how it can improve, they feel like their opinion matters. Making sure that your clients know that you care about their experience and that their opinion doesn’t go unnoticed will make a big impact on them. Asking for testimonials is also a great way to have more meaningful conversations that can always lead to more sales.


Find out if there’s anything else your company could provide them with.
Having deep conversations means that you can understand their needs, and possibly lead to a cross-sell or up-sell. Perhaps your clients are struggling with something or are seeking something that they believe is missing in your product or service, and that is now something you offer that they didn’t even know about. Update them on new happenings in your company to keep them up to date and aware of what you have to offer.

If you’re ready to start creating a new exhibit that serves both your current and future clients well, reach out to us to get started! Whether you need help with bringing your exhibit ideas to life or you’re seeking support for your entire trade show marketing program, our experts can assist you toward success.

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