The ultimate software list for trade shows
Trade shows are all about human relationship, product demo and negotiations with prospects.
But there is a lot to do BEFORE and AFTER your business event in terms of preparation and follow-up. Do you know all the software you should have ready in your toolbox to meet success at exhibitions?
We have prepared a list for you!
Your first step will be to plan your event. To achieve that (it is never a piece of cake!) you will need a complete checklist of all the things to prepare: booth location, carpets, lighting, design, marketing, logistics, transportation, hosting, etc.
Having an efficient text editor is important to keep your checklist up-to-date and manage your event organization properly.
A trade show is expensive. Very expensive.
You need a clear and detailed budget sheet. How to do that? The most common method is to use a spreadsheet and enter all your expenses to keep track of your spending.
You can start from scratch or download an existing template – in both cases, make sure you know how to use it and keep it up-to-date throughout the whole organization.
Traditionally, exhibitors print tons of marketing collateral (brochures, catalogs, flyers, pricelists, business cards, etc.) to distribute at exhibitions.
Not only this method is bad for the environment as it represents a huge waste of paper, it also represents an important cost for companies and visitors don’t necessarily appreciate it.
Have you noticed all the buyers and attendees walking the fair aisles loaded with bags full of pamphlets and give-away?
Visitors prefer to receive digital version of your documents – they will keep it in their mailbox, won’t need to carry it around and will be able to get what they need.
Prepare a cloud storage, upload your files ahead of time, prepare QR codes for your booth and links to send via email.
Business cards scanner
You could decide to stuff your pockets with your visitors’ business cards. You could also decide to get a business cards scanner and extract all that data right away to avoid losing important leads.
Having a business cards scanner at your booth is important – not only because it will save you a tremendous amount of time after the event, but also because it makes your data collection more accurate and efficient and reduces the risk of losing potential business.
Taking pen&paper notes is inefficient for numerous reasons (read: “Why pen&paper is completely outdated at trade shows?“) and could bring more harm than benefits.
Having an online form ready to capture your leads efficiently is important: it will structure your lead recording, enable a faster follow-up and streamline the entire process.
Prepare an online form software of your choosing ahead of time, setup your prospect report template and start generating new business!
Capturing leads is essential but it isn’t enough. What to do with all these leads once back to the office?
You will need to follow-up, set reminders, review details and manage your sales funnel.
To achieve all these you need a CRM. You might already have one that you use outside trade shows; if not, it is certainly time to get one!
Also, make sure your Online Form is compatible with your CRM so that you could easily transfer data from one to the other – better find this out earlier than later!
Except if you prefer hand-written notes, you will need to follow-up with your prospects via emails.
In this situation the rule is 48h: 75% of your visitors will forget about you after 48h. They have seen hundreds of booths, talked to tens of people and have no reason to remember you more than others.
Your follow-up must be done quickly. To achieve that, setup your email client in advance, prepare some templates (drafts), have your cloud hosted files links ready in your emails. After the event finished, it should be easy and quick for you to follow-up.
You have spent so much time and efforts at this show, you will certainly want to know if it was worth your sweat.
Have some analytics software ready to give you that answer. Calculating the number of leads captured, the total money spent, the gross revenue generated, the actual ROI and the performance of your team members isn’t very complicated to do, but you must find the right software to do that and set it up BEFORE the event!
It is all about making data-driven decisions.
Setting up your tools
It may seem “easy” (who doesn’t already have excel or gmail in his professional toolbox?) but it isn’t just about having these software.
It is about having them setup and ready (having the right budget file, the right trade show planning checklist, the right email template, etc.) before the event.
It is also about having software that can do what you need them to do and make sure these are compatible – will you be able to transfer data from your business cards scanner to your online form, or to your CRM? Will your budget spreadsheet feed your analytics tool the way it should?
Getting ready may seem simple but can be quite an adventure – start early to avoid bad surprises!
Is there any software that does it all?
As a matter of fact, there is.
After spending years at trade shows trying to figure out how to align all these machines and make them communicate together efficiently, the myfairtool team created an exhibition software that does it all: planning, budgeting, sending email, hosting files, generating QR codes, capturing leads, scanning business cards, exporting reports, providing CRM features and monitoring results.
myfairtool incorporates all these software in one solution for exhibitions and enables you to manage every aspect of your event within one single platform.
If you haven’t tried it yet, it might be time for you to explore a better way to manage your event.