How to Follow Up Like a Boss

Tools and tactics to win over leads after every event

Trade shows and conferences are invaluable opportunities for surveying and geospatial businesses to showcase expertise, network with industry peers, and gather promising new leads. (see 10 things to check before you go to a trade show!) However, the real work begins after the event, during the crucial follow-up stage. Effective follow-up strategies can significantly impact conversion rates and ultimately drive business growth. 

Don’t wait.

Time is of the essence when it comes to follow-up. Aim to reach out to prospects within a day or two of the event, while your business and the interactions are still fresh in their minds. Reach out to the key prospects ASAP with a personal email or phone call.

  • How marketing can help: If you’re using a CRM and/or a marketing platform like HubSpot or Mailchimp, your marketing person or team can automate your follow-up emails, streamlining process and ensuring timely communication.

Customise your follow-up.

Don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach with your follow-up emails. If your business offers multiple services, make sure you take notes so you know which leads are interested in each service. This way,  you can tailor your follow-up messages to each prospect based on the conversations you had at the event. When you call or email those top prospects, reference specific discussions or pain points they shared to demonstrate that you were paying close attention and that you understand their needs.

  • How marketing can help: If you’ve noted which leads are interested in which product or service (even by making a quick note on the back of a business card), marketing can create templates for each group. As an example, you may have prospects interested in land surveys and others who need bathymetric surveys. Marketing can create an email customized for each need, so each group receives and personalized and relevant message.

Provide value.

Sharing is caring, so show prospects you care by sharing additional insights, resources, or content that aligns with their interests or challenges. This could include case studies, whitepapers, or webinar invitations relevant to their pain points. Position yourself as a trusted advisor by providing valuable information that helps prospects solve problems or make informed decisions – without being too sales-y.

  • How marketing can help: If you noticed a problem that was prevalent among the people you met at the conference, ask marketing to create some helpful and engaging content on that topic. Whether it’s a webinar on the latest advancements in point cloud technology,  a short, informal video on calibration hacks, or a blog post on post-event follow-up strategies (what?), marketing can create materials that can help make your follow-up efforts more successful. 

Make it a date.

Don’t settle for just email. Propose follow-up meetings or calls to dive deeper into your prospect’s needs and discuss potential solutions. Be as flexible as possible with scheduling to accommodate their availability and demonstrate your commitment to their success. And, by the same token, spend more of the first call listening than talking. Learn about their business, their concerns, and the problems you may be able to solve. It helps to understand the challenge they face and its significance before offering a solution. 

  • (Marketing can’t really help with this one – you’re on  your own!)

Connect on social.

Connect with the people you met at your conference on platforms like LinkedIn to continue the conversation beyond the initial follow-up. Share relevant industry insights, articles, or company updates to stay top-of-mind and showcase your expertise in the field.

  • How marketing can help: Your marketer or team is probably keeping your social profiles up-to-date already, but you may want to ensure that your company pages are aligned with the messages you’re sending to prospects. Posts regarding the common problem you identified, the services you were promoting at the conference, etc. will be particularly useful in the weeks following your event. 

Monitor and track interactions and lead status.

Be sure to keep track of all follow-up interactions and engagements. If you have a CRM system (and there are loads of free ones out there) use that, but a spreadsheet can also work (especially with one of these CRM templates). Track email opens, clicks, and responses to gauge prospect interest and tailor future communications accordingly. And monitor your social accounts too! People may message you directly or request a call in comments – you never know!

  • How marketing can help:  While you should set reminders to follow up regularly with leads, marketing can also send personalized emails in smaller batches and keep an eye on the CRM. Staying in touch over time and having extra eyes on results will prevent potential opportunities from slipping through the cracks.

Don’t treat warm and cold leads the same way.  

Not every lead will be a good one – at least, not right away! Some of the prospects you meet might fit your customer profile perfectly, but they’re not quite ready to buy. When you notice that 90% of your email recipients aren’t even opening your emails, it’s time to change course.

  • How marketing can help: Your cold leads aren’t ready for sales, but that doesn’t mean they won’t benefit from hearing from you from time to time. Marketing can set up a longer-term nurture email sequence. These emails may be sent bi-weekly or even monthly, and simply offer a helpful tip or news item that impacts their industry. The messaging here should be friendly and helpful – find ways to make their job easier or their day brighter, but don’t be pushy. This kind of email is about building the relationship and earning their trust so that when these prospects are ready to buy, you’ll be the first one they call. 


Effective follow-up strategies are essential for businesses to capitalize on the leads generated from trade shows and conferences. By prioritizing promptness, personalization, value, and ongoing engagement, you and your marketing team (or, you, wearing your marketing hat) be able to cultivate strong relationships with prospects and increase their chances of conversion. Remember, the follow-up process is not just about closing deals; it’s about nurturing long-term connections and fostering trust within the industry.

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