Best E-Mail Sequences to book Meetings at Trade Shows

Updated: Jan 8

After more than 1.5 years, we are seeing the return of the trade shows. Finally, more and more show floors around the world open up again. Especially for complex B2B enterprise products, trade shows are a great possibility to meet new prospects, understand their challenges deeply, get to know them personally, and explain complex products face-to-face. These interactions are way more effective than virtual sales engagements.


So what to do, to make trade shows a success again and generate sales pipeline as well as revenue out of them? In the blog post of Cim Bayer about Outbound Strategies for Events and Trade Shows you find a detailed step-by-step guide on how to prepare marketing & sales outbound efforts for any kind of trade show to maximize its ROI - from prospecting to execution.


In this blog post, I want to show you email cadences for approaching people to book a meeting before the trade show actually starts. Especially email cadences and sequences for exhibitors, attendees, and speakers. Your company has never met these people before and you want to book a meeting with them now. All email cadences helped us and our customers to book hundreds of sales meetings at trade shows before COVID-19 and now.


Cadence 1 for contacting exhibitors

Exhibitors of trade shows usually can be identified via the website of the trade show. In most cases, the event organizer lists all exhibitors on their website. We have used the following email cadence for exhibitors. Here's one example data set we have used:




In total, we achieved an open rate of 76% and a reply rate of 30%. Out of the 40 replies we got, we could book and pre-schedule a bunch of sales meetings. We recommend leaving 1-3 days between each step. This is heavily depending on your industry and the time left when the trade show starts.


Here are the detailed email templates of this cadence:


Email Step 1

Subject: Time to meet at {{trade_show}}?

Body:

Dear {{first_name}},

Great to see {{company_name}} exhibiting at {{trade_show}}. I am reaching out because we are also exhibiting and I think it would be worthwhile to connect and discuss ways to collaborate.

Are you the appropriate person to talk about {{value_prop1}} at {{company_name}}, specifically {{value_prop2}}?

If you are not the appropriate person, could you point me in the right direction? I’m looking for a person from {{company_name}} to meet and chat at {{trade_show}}.

Thanks in advance!

P.S. {{your_sales_rep_fullname}} (+1 234 5678910) will be in attendance in hall 14 booth #E14. Meet us there!

Best,
{{sender_name}}

If you are a company in the XR space, the value_prop could be something like "XR processes" and specifically "Augmented Reality Engineering".

If you are a company in the video streaming space, the value_prop could be something like "improving viewer experience" and "specifically video player engineering"


Follow Up and Step 2

Subject: Follow-up to the previous email

Body:

Dear {{first_name}},

As both {{company_anme}} and {{your_company_name}} are attending {{trade_show}} this year, we would be more than happy to talk about your current pains, goals, and ambitions at {{company_name}} and if it is relevant, introduce {{value_prop}} and it’s benefits.

Are you the appropriate person to meet at {{trade_show}}? If not, could you please point me in the right direction?

Best regards,
{{sender_name}}

Follow Up and Step 3

Subject: Follow-up to the previous email

Body:

Hi {{first_name}},

It would be nice to catch up with {{company_name}} at {{trade_show}} in {{city}}.

{{your_company_name}} works with companies like {{reference_customers}} to {{value_prop}}. 

When are you available to meet?

All the best,
{{sender.name}}

Follow Up and Step 4

Subject: Follow-up to the previous email

Body:

Hi {{first_name}},

{{trade_show}} is around the corner and we’d like to set up a meeting between {{company_name}} and {{your_company_name}}.

In addition, I’d like to share some links which could be of your interest:
 - Link 1 / Customer Reference / Great Content
 - Link 2 / Customer Reference / Great Content
 - Link 3 / Customer Reference / Great Content

Are you attending {{trade_show}} in {{city}}?

Cheers,
{{sender_name}}

Follow Up and Step 5

Subject: Follow-up to the previous email

Body:

Hi {{first_name}},

I’d like to mention {{your_sales_rep_fullname}}, our {{your_sales_rep_title}}, who will be at {{trade_show}}. I see that {{company_name}} is exhibiting too.

There are some interesting ways for our companies to collaborate. {{your_sales_rep_firstname}} has asked me to work with you to schedule time for a discussion.

When are you free for a short meeting?

P.S. {{your_sales_rep_fullname}} (+1 234 5678910) will be in attendance in hall 14 booth #E14. Meet us there!

Kind regards,
{{sender_name}}



Cadence 2 for contacting attendees

Another great way of figuring out people who are attending is social media. There are various LinkedIn and Facebook events for certain trade shows where you can figure out who is attending. For these groups of people we have used the following email sequence:


Email Step 1

Subject: {{trade_show}} {{city}} - {{company_name}} and {{your_company_name}}

Body:

Dear {{first_name}},

I noticed on LinkedIn that we are both attending {{trade_show}} in  {{city}}. Are you interested in learning more about {{value_prop}} for {{company_name}}?

If so, we are happy to schedule a meeting to talk about the current trends in {{industry}} and if it is relevant, discuss what value it brings to companies like {{company_name}}.

If you are not the appropriate person, could you point me in the right direction? I would greatly appreciate your help.

P.S. {{your_sales_rep_fullname}} (+1 234 5678910) will be in attendance in hall 14 booth #E14. Meet us there!

Best regards,
{{sender_name}}

Follow Up and Step 2

Subject: Follow-up to the previous email

Body:

Dear {{first_name}},

As both {{company_name}} and {{your_company_name}} are attending {{trade_show}} this year, we would be more than happy to talk about your current pains, goals, and ambitions at {{company_name}} and if it is relevant, introduce {{value_prop}} and it’s benefits.

Are you the appropriate person to meet at {{trade_show}}? If not, could you please point me in the right direction?

Best regards,
{{sender_name}}

Follow Up and Step 3

Subject: Follow-up to the previous email

Body:

Dear {{first_name}},

Are you or someone from {{company_name}} attending {{trade_show}} in {{city}}?

It would be great to chat at {{trade_show}} and learn more about {{company_name}}.

Best regards,
{{sender_name}}

Follow Up and Step 4

Subject: Follow-up to the previous email

Body:

Hi {{first_name}},

{{trade_show}} is around the corner and we’d like to set up a meeting between {{company_name}} and {{your_company_name}}.

In addition, I’d like to share some links which could be of your interest:
 - Link 1 / Customer Reference / Great Content
 - Link 2 / Customer Reference / Great Content
 - Link 3 / Customer Reference / Great Content

Are you attending {{trade_show}} in {{city}}?

Cheers,
{{sender_name}}


Follow Up and Step 5

Subject: Follow-up to the previous email

Body:

Hi {{first_name}},

I’d like to mention {{your_sales_rep_fullname}}, our {{your_sales_rep_title}}, who will be at {{trade_show}}. I see that you are going to attend.

There are some interesting ways for our companies to collaborate. {{your_sales_rep_firstname}} has asked me to work with you to schedule time for a discussion.

When are you free for a short meeting?

P.S. {{your_sales_rep_fullname}} (+1 234 5678910) will be in attendance in hall 14 booth #E14. Meet us there!

Kind regards,
{{sender_name}}



Cadence 3 for contacting speakers

Most speakers at trade shows are publicly listed including the topic they speak about. This gives you a great indication if this person might benefit from a meeting with your company. And, it gives you a great chance to reach out really personalized. Furthermore, you get already insights into the topics they are interested in and the topics they are experts in.




Email Step 1

Subject: I see you are speaking at {{trade_show}} for {{company_name}}

Body:

Hi {{first_name}},

Congratulations on being a Speaker at {{trade_show}}.

From our side, I'd like to introduce you to our CEO {{your_CEO_fullname}}? We sense there are some interesting ways for our companies to collaborate. Would you be available for a short meeting?

I don't know how much you know about {{your_company_name}} but to give you a brief intro, we help companies like {{reference_customers}} to {{value_prop}}.

Please let me know what date/time would work best for you?

Kind regards,
{{sender_name}}

Follow Up and Step 2

Subject: Follow-up to the previous email

Body:

Hi {{first_name}},

I wanted to follow up on the last email that I have sent you.
Congrats again on speaking at {{trade_show}}.

When do you have time for a meeting with our CEO to discuss how our companies can collaborate?

Best,
{{sender_name}}

Follow Up and Step 3

Subject: Follow-up to the previous email

Body:

Hi {{first_name}},

Did you miss my last email?

If you would like to know more on how we helped multi-billion dollar companies, saving up to 50% of their costs and making {{value_prop}}, then let me know and we can schedule a meeting for {{trade_show}}.

Best,
{{sender_name}}


Fazit

A trade show gives you great context with exhibitors, attendees, and speakers. If you use the right messaging, setting up meetings before the trade show starts is a great way to increase and maximize the Return on Investment of your event efforts.


If you have any further questions or want to see some more templates please don't hesitate to contact us and me anytime.


Best,

Gerald


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