Trade shows are one of the most powerful vehicles for introducing new products, getting the word out about existing products, and attracting new business. If executed well, your trade show marketing plan can boost your sales and revenues, paving the way for future growth.

However, simply showing up for the event is not enough. The things you do before, during, and after the show have an enormous influence on your success. Collecting leads is one of the most important. Here is a 4-step plan to collecting high-quality trade show leads.

Step 1: Train Your Booth Employees

Set aside time to train your booth staff regarding how to properly collect leads. Being friendly is just the beginning. They need to learn how to approach attendees who visit your booth and ask the right questions in order to qualify them. Provide them with a script that describes the benefits of your products. Then, roll play so they can gain practical experience talking comfortably about those benefits.

Step 2: Plan Your Trade Show Giveaways

Your trade show giveaways are an opportunity to attract potential customers to your booth while promoting your company over the long run. Avoid using cheap promotional items that might reflect poorly on your business. Instead, invest in high-quality giveaways that make a lasting impression. If you can send your leads home with a promotional giveaway that they’ll keep using, that item will continue marketing your company’s name.

Step 3: Approach and Engage

This is where the training that you provided your staff pays off. When visitors come to your booth, your employees should immediately approach and engage them in conversation. The goal should always be to qualify them. Your staff should try to identify visitors’ needs, their budget, and whether they have purchasing authority. Establish lead-collecting goals before arriving at the trade show. That way, your employees are always aware of their objective.

Step 4: Qualify and Disqualify

Time is limited at trade shows and it is essential that you spend it wisely. You will find that disqualifying prospects is just as important as qualifying leads. If a visitor is unlikely to do business with your company, your booth employees must be able to disengage and speak with other visitors. If you are using trade show attractions to draw large crowds, it is even more important.

Making Your Trade Show Leads Count

The 4-step plan described to you is one of the reasons for your trade show success. Leads mean everything. If you implement a system with your staff that focuses on collecting as many of them as possible, you’ll enjoy a significant competitive advantage. Once you return home, start following up on your leads immediately to make them count. You’ll find that trade shows are a potent channel for growing your business.