Maximizing Your Trade Show Investment: Effective Follow-Up Strategies for Importers

by Axton Global
How to Follow up after China Trade Show
Previously, we talked about how important trade shows are for businesses. They're great for meeting new people, spotting trends, and finding suppliers. But the real work begins after the trade show ends. Once all the excitement of the event is over, importers need to make the most of the connections they've made by following up promptly and effectively.
Here are four main reasons why diligent follow-up is imperative for importers post-trade show.

1. Establishing Connections: Reaching out to suppliers after the trade show shows that you're genuinely interested in building lasting relationships. This proactive step demonstrates your dedication, which helps build trust and credibility between you and the supplier.

2. Sustaining Presence: In the bustling post-trade show landscape, it's common for businesses to get lost in the shuffle. However, through diligent follow-up, you can maintain visibility and ensure that your company stays prominently on suppliers' radars, thus increasing the prospects of future collaborations.

3. Qualifying Contacts: Not all connections made at trade shows are equal. Through follow-up interactions, importers can delve deeper into suppliers' offerings and capabilities, effectively qualifying contacts based on their suitability for collaboration.

4. Closing Deals: Timely follow-up significantly enhances the likelihood of converting contacts into contracts. Studies underscore the importance of swift engagement, with businesses responding within 24 hours being 60% more likely to secure agreements.
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In the pursuit of maximizing trade show investments, here are actionable follow-up strategies importers can implement.

1. Promptness is Key: Quick follow-up shows commitment and maintains momentum. Aim to reach out to new connections within days of the trade show to demonstrate your willingness to engage.

2. Personalization Matters: Tailor follow-up messages to each contact, referencing specific conversations or points of interest shared during the trade show. Personalized communication helps build a good relationship and emphasizes the sincerity of your intentions.

3. Persistence with Respect: While persistence is essential, it must be balanced with respect for the recipient's time and interest level. Follow up consistently, but be mindful of cues indicating disinterest or unreadiness to proceed.
Here's a step-by-step follow-up plan after attending a China trade show like the Canton Fair.

1. Create a list of people you met.
Before leaving the trade show, write down the names of the people you talked to and what you discussed. This will come in handy when you reach out to them later. If you have their business cards, make a note on each one so you can remember who they are and what you talked about.

2. Send a follow-up email.
Within a day or two after the trade show, send an email to the contacts you made. Thank them for their time and express your interest in working together. If you promised to provide more information, make sure to include it in the email.

3. Connect on social media.
If you're not already connected with your new contacts on social media, now's the time to do it. LinkedIn is a useful platform for connecting with other professionals in your industry. Once connected, you can continue building your relationship by interacting with their posts and sharing your own content.

4. Arrange a meeting.
If you had a great conversation with someone at the trade show, don't hesitate to reach out and suggest a meeting. This could be a casual coffee chat or a formal business lunch. It's an excellent opportunity to further discuss your business objectives and how you can collaborate.

5. Keep in touch.
Even if you don't have immediate business to discuss, stay connected with your new contacts. Send them relevant articles or information that could benefit their business. Attend industry events where they'll be present. By staying connected, you'll increase the likelihood of being remembered when they need products or services like yours.

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