How NOT to follow up with your trade show leads

I’ve been to enough conference/events/trade shows over the past few years to see all the tactics that vendors use to collect contact information:

  • Prize giveway sign-up
  • Games
  • Food

I attended a recent event as an exhibitor, but had a chance to visit competing booths during some of the breaks in the action.

A few weeks after the event, I received the following e-mail from a vendor (I’ve slightly modified the text to keep the vendor name private.) I must have filled out a registration card or given them my business card.

Are your event follow-up tactics on target or shooting in the dark?
Are your event follow-up tactics on target or shooting in the dark?

Thanks for stopping by the ABC booth at the ABC conference.

ABC’s John Doe delivered his presentation [The Best Presentation Ever] to a completely full theater at the recent ABC show.  If you missed it or would like to see it again, John will be giving that presentation again in our office at Niceville on January 1st at 11:30. If you would like to attend or send a friend, you can sign up at

 I had a few challenges with this post-event follow up message.

  1. Who is this John Doe person? Was I supposed to know him? I wasn’t aware of him from the conference guide. He certainly wasn’t a thought leader.
  2. Where is the ‘Niceville’ office? I live in Texas, and I have no idea if the event is happening near Seattle, Washington, Orlando, Florida, or Chicago, Illinois.
  3. There were also a few egregious grammatical errors in the message, causing this vendor’s credibility to drop dramatically.

My company does its share of event follow up e-mails. We don’t have it perfected (far from it), but we try our best to avoid some errors that could have easily been avoided.

Be cautious the next time your company is connecting with attendees post-event. Understand how it important it is to be specific; vagueness causes confusion immediately.

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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