Trade Show

5 Tips for Capitalizing on Business Leads after the ATA Trade Show

The annual ATA Trade Show is a member-driven event to promote commerce within the archery and bowhunting industry.
Photo Credit: Shane Indrebo

Author: Cassie Scott

The 2017 ATA Trade Show is history, but your work is just beginning if you want to capitalize on your trip to Indianapolis. Important follow-up opportunities await, and if you don’t grab them, you could miss out on better business and potential profits.

Whether you’re a retailer or exhibitor, the steps and resources that follow will help you navigate your post-event follow-up journey.

1. Review Your Notes and Business Cards

Your goodie bag is probably stuffed to the zipper with pamphlets, brochures, price sheets, order forms and business cards. Well, it’s time to compile those contacts and make leads. author Brian Sun notes that leads have a temperature, so divide them between hot, cold and lukewarm. He describes this process in his article, “7 Steps to Follow Up With Leads After a Trade Show.” Use Sun’s techniques to file, organize and prioritize your documents to create a “who-to-contact” plan.

If you lost your notebook – and all the names and numbers you compiled – or you simply “forgot” to take notes, see No. 2.

Use the ATA’s digital versions of the Floor Map and Show Guide to jog your memory of contacts made and booths visited.

2. Use ATA’s Resources to Find Key Information

Double back to the ATA’s Floor Map, Show Guide and Mobile App to jog your memory, and find important leads and contact information to help make business connections and conduct transactions.

To get the most up-to-date membership directory, log in to the members-only section of and select “2017 ATA Show Guide and Membership Directory.” View the digital copy or fill out the “Member List Agreement Form” and return it to Wendy Lang, ATA’s membership manager, to request an updated directory.

3. Develop a Plan, Connect with People and Prospect

The Trade Group has a good article about trade show lead follow up. They suggest businesses appoint a leader to oversee the follow-up progress, prepare a strict timeline, and provide tools and content to simplify the process. Once you’ve created a plan, set your team free to make calls and send emails. Connect with industry members via social media networks like LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to expand your reach. Here are an additional ten tips to design an effective trade show follow-up campaign, provided by Spear Marketing Group.

Your Show goodie bag is probably stuffed to the zipper with pamphlets, brochures, price sheets, order forms and business cards. Compile your notes and contacts into organized lists to make follow-up easy.

4. Calculate Your ROI and Evaluate Your Experience

After you’ve reached out to your contacts, review your efforts. If done correctly, attending the ATA Trade Show can be productive and cost-effective for buyers and sellers. The Show helps you make connections, do business and, ultimately, boost profits. The “Return on Investment – ROI” article on states, “The return on investment formula is calculated by subtracting the cost from the total income and dividing it by the total cost.” Use that mathematical equation to help determine your ROI. You must also evaluate your experience in terms of intangible benefits like knowledge gained, relationships made or industry secrets discovered to find the event’s total worth.

To obtain your membership and badge receipts, as well as other account information for your records, log in to the members-only section of to analyze your expenses.

5. Now What?

After completing this follow-up work, we hope you’ll be satisfied with your Show experience and outcome. Therefore, start preparing for next year. ATA members can renew their membership on or after April 1. The 2018 Show will run Jan. 11-13 in Indianapolis. Mark your calendars. Registration opens in June.

Meanwhile, get involved in ATA’s many programs that work to increase your bottom line. We recommend you take advantage of ATA’s Retail Growth Initiative and ATA ePRO software, and update your store’s listing on Archery 360 and Bowhunting 360’s store locator.

To learn more contact ATA’s business office at (507) 233-8130.

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