Image by ADunwoody07 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Attending a tradeshow can cost a company upwards of $50,000 or more, depending on the location, scale and number of delegates you’re sending. Travel expenses, employee salaries, event tickets, hotel stays, booth setup, and promotional efforts add up quickly for a single event. It’s important to make the most of the time and money spent at a tradeshow, so if you’re in charge of generating leads at such an event, the following five hacks to maximize ROI are just for you:

Tradeshow Giveaways

One of the easiest ways to put your brand in the minds of potential clients is to give them something by which to remember you. Tradeshow giveaways can be just about anything, as long as it is customizable with your logo. Some popular promotional items given away at tradeshows include ballpoint pens, flashlights, and tote bags.

Be Genuinely Friendly and Conversational

When someone walks up to your booth, don’t just ask them if you can help them because they will just say, “No,” and walk away. Instead, get them talking about why they are at the tradeshow by asking, “How are you enjoying the show?” or “What’s the best thing you’ve seen so far?” This line of questioning forces visitors to engage in conversation with you and gives you the chance to take it one step further.

Use Social Media and Get Free Press Coverage

At least 30 days before the event, make it your mission to find out which reporters will be covering it. Follow them on Twitter and retweet and comment on some of their posts. This is the first contact that brings attention to your brand.

At the event, target those reporters and offer an interview announcing a product launch, exclusive coverage, or great story. This is your second contact. Throughout the event, follow the reporters on Twitter in real-time and retweet their posts. Be sure to respond to a couple of their tweets. This is your third contact.

Utilizing social media in this manner provides your company with free press coverage and reaches more prospective clients than you can imagine.

Use Apps to Help You Generate Leads

There are numerous invaluable mobile apps that can assist you with marketing and lead generation. There are simple, intuitive apps that can help you to collect visitor feedback and information, qualify leads, scan business cards, share product information with prospects and much, much more. Use mobile technology to your advantage, and you will increase your chances of achieving success and ROI on your crucial marketing investment.

Plan an Effective Follow Up

After the event is over, many prospects forget the majority of vendors they visited. To keep this from happening to you, your follow up has to be authentic and timed just right. Wait a few weeks until the barrage of post-tradeshow requests has subsided, then send out a lead magnet email.

Your email should not focus on why your company is best Rather, it should give them something about which they genuinely care. Don’t just lead them to a link or phone number “to learn more.” Give them something of value such as, “Let me show you how we can increase your profits by 20 percent in the coming year.” Make sure you’re honest about what you’re offering.

To maximize leads and make the time and money you spend at a tradeshow worthwhile, you have to make your prospects see your worth. These five tradeshow hacks to maximize leads are sure to help you get your foot in the door and put your brand in the forefront of your prospects’ minds.