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Booth Visitors Need Time to Unpack Before You Follow Up

By Association Adviser staff • August 18, 2015

We may live in a 24/7 instant-gratification world, but when it comes to following up with show attendees who visit your booth, don’t jump the gun. Sure, much has been said about exhibitors dropping the ball and forgetting to follow up with booth visitors, but being too aggressive can hurt you just as much as not following up at all.

As early results from our unscientific reader poll show, nearly two thirds (63 percent) of association show attendees want to be contacted within one or two weeks of the show, but only 9 percent said they want to be contacted right away. Another nine percent said it’s okay to wait a month before following up, but more importantly, nearly 18 percent said “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.”

How soon after an event do you prefer to be contacted by exhibitors?

As John Graham, CEO of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), explains in our Corner Office profile story, the advent of mobile allows interested individual to seek the information they want directly from the organization. It doesn’t need to be pushed out. Graham explains, “The organization needs to be nimble and flexible enough to make it easy for the individual to seek content from them in a very efficient way.”

When you do follow up, borrow a page from Tim Mason, chief marketing officer of the IT security association ISACA, and use the “SNIFF, SIP and GULP” approach — don’t drown them all at once with a deluge of white papers, webinars, brochures and sales pitches. Parse it out gradually. More insights from Mason can be found in Hank Berkowitz’s column.