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Clifford Almeida Clifford Almeida

Agency Guide: How To Generate Leads From Trade Shows & Conferences

Trade shows and conferences can be great opportunities for agencies to connect with potential clients. However, with so many vendors competing for attention, it can be challenging to stand out and attract the leads you need.

I wrote this guide for those sponsoring or speaking at a trade show or planning to soon but aren’t sure what to do or where to start to help you stand out, maximize your investment, and generate leads from trade shows or conferences.

Let's get started…

Table of Contents

Offer A Free Website Or SEO Audit

This section is for agencies who are planning to sponsor a trade show or conference and have a table or booth. A great way to make the most of the visitors who stop by your table or booth is to offer something of value, such as a chance to win a gift like an iPad, a discounted service, a consultation or strategy session, or a free audit.

I will explain why offering a free audit and strategy session is valuable and appealing to attendees and how it aligns with your agency’s goal of generating leads and customers.

Offering a free audit, whether it be a website audit, Google Business Profile audit, Search Engine visibility (SEO) audit, or any other type of audit related to what they want and your agency services, is a great way to demonstrate your expertise as an agency and build trust with potential customers.

Offer A Free Website Or SEO Audit

It’s important to offer an audit relevant to your audience and their needs. For example, if the trade show or conference is for contractors, a Google Business Profile audit would probably be more appropriate than a website audit since most contractors care more about being found and getting a call when a prospect searches Google than how well their website looks or how dated it is.

This approach is a great way to showcase your expertise and provide value to potential leads.

The two most common ways to capture the lead info are:

  1. Ask them to drop their business card off at your booth, and you will follow up with them,
  2. Have a QR code that directs them to a landing page on their phone, or have a laptop or tablet at your table for them to fill out their information.

Be sure your directions at your booth or online are clear and concise on what they need to do.

Offer A Free 15-Minute SEO, GBP, or Website Audit At Your Booth

Set up a laptop and have people input their website URLs. Provide attendees with a quick analysis and recommendations during those 15 minutes, and collect their business cards to follow up with a more detailed audit report. We like to use these agency lead magnets to offer value and get the lead to book a strategy call with our team.

GBP lead widget

Give Away Promotional Products

Offer promotional products like pens, notepads, etc., with your company name/logo and tagline “Let us audit your website for free.” Collect business cards from everyone to whom you give a promotional product.

Host A Raffle Or Contest

This is a great way to generate excitement and attract visitors to your booth. Be sure to offer a prize that is relevant to your target audience. For example, ask people to enter their business information to win a Google Business Profile audit and optimization worth $499 or whatever value you deem it worth.

Then, offer everyone who didn’t win a complimentary audit. For those who show interest, possibly stack the value with a strategy call where you do a Q&A about the audit and how they can gain a competitive advantage by optimizing their GBP. Stacking your offer with a limited-time discount may even work depending on your audience and service offerings.

Another way to boost interest and collect business cards is to offer an iPad, iPhone, or other electronic device along with the audit offering. We’ve seen agencies give away a free website as well.

Create A Visually Appealing And Engaging Booth

Use bright colors, exciting graphics, and interactive elements to attract attention. Consider running a short live or recorded presentation on a relevant topic like optimizing your Google Business Profile or reviewing what you include in a Google Profile Audit and why. Put it on a loop if recorded and offer an audit for those who are interested as a way for them to learn more about how their GBP profile is performing.

Have Friendly And Knowledgeable Staff At Your Booth

Be sure to train your staff on how to answer common questions about your services and how to qualify leads interested in your audit offer or services. Be sure to avoid tech speak and focus on the benefits and outcomes that matter to the leads you are talking to.

Partner With Vendors

In the previous sections, I covered several ways you can generate leads for your agency from the trade show or conference attendees using your table or booth.

In the next section, I’ll share why you should consider partnering with other vendors attending the event, especially vendors who offer complementary services to your agency to 10X your lead generation efforts.

For example, if you run a web design or SEO agency, you could look for potential partners offering legal or accounting services to your ideal customers. You could cross-promote each other’s services and provide joint discounts or promotions.

I recommend you do research ahead of time to identify who could be potential partners who will also be attending the event. Create a list and reach out to them on social media or email a week or so before the event, introducing yourself and letting them know you’d like to connect in person at the tradeshow, if possible.

If reaching out beforehand isn’t feasible, connect with them at the event, start building the relationship, and continue nurturing it afterward. Unless they bring it up, I would not recommend leading with a co-promotion idea; most of these businesses get pitched with deals to leverage their audience for a quick buck. You don’t want to be that person…

In the next section, I’ll go over what you should do to ensure that you have the highest chance of success when you present the opportunity.

Successfully Presenting The Audit Offer

Here are my most important tips to increase your chances of successfully executing strategic partnerships for your agency. By the way, these tips can be used to establish partnerships with local businesses as well and not just at trade shows or conferences.

Focus On The Benefits To Their Customers

Ask yourself what their customers would gain from getting a free website audit from you. Will it help them improve their website’s performance? Increase traffic? Boost sales? Be sure to highlight these benefits in your communication with the partner.

Emphasize The Value-Add For Their Business

Effectively communicate the value of the audit and strategy call offer to your partner’s customers. We do this by associating a value of $349 to the offer. We also focus on the potential benefits their customers get from taking the offer — They can stop guessing about their website or SEO issues. We will show them precisely what is needed to get more traffic, leads, and customers with our audits.

When presented correctly your partner and their customers should perceive this offer as a value add to all parties involved.

Make It Easy For Them To Say Yes

Offer to provide the partner with all the resources they need to send the email to their list, such as a pre-written email template and a landing page where customers interested in the offer can sign up for the free website audit. This will make it easy for them to get started and show them that you are committed to making the process as smooth as possible.

Offer A Reciprocal Benefit

Consider offering the partner something in return for emailing their list about your offer. For example, you could offer to promote their business to your audience, give them a free website audit for their own business, a discount on your services, or a 10%+ referral fee for any new business generated from the promotion.

Invest In The Relationship

I saved the most important tip for last. Given that many people are only interested in taking or asking for something, I believe that you should stand out by giving. The best way to do that is to get to know your partner and their business as much as possible. Take the time to understand the partner’s goals and challenges, and tailor your message and solution accordingly to ensure it is relevant and valuable.

By following these tips, you can communicate the benefits of your offer persuasively and compellingly. This will increase your chances of getting the partner to agree to email their list about your web services.

If possible, run a website, GBP, and SEO audit for them and give them a report. This way, they understand what services you offer and what your audit reports look like or show them an example on your laptop if you can’t run the audits and print them before the conference. Showing them the report is more effective than telling them about it.

By implementing these tips, you can effectively communicate the benefits of partnering with your agency and create mutually beneficial partnerships.

Next, I’ll share three simple and actionable ways to leverage the partnership by leading with value.

3 Easy Ways To Generate Leads

Here are three straightforward and practical lead-generation ideas to execute with your partner. Remember, this can be executed with local businesses you already do business with. If your agency is like mine, you have an accountant, videographer, and small business banker. All of them could be a good partnership opportunity to pursue.

Now, on to the three strategies.

Offer A Free Audit Of The Vendor’s Existing Customer Base / List

This is a great way to reach a new audience and generate leads from businesses while adding value to their business by helping their customers.

Co-host A Webinar, Podcast Or Event.

This is a great way to share your expertise with a broader audience and generate leads from your customer base. Teach them about websites or SEO, then offer an audit to see how their current setup stacks up.

Offer A Joint Discount Or Promotion

Encourage your customers to check out your partners’ services and vice versa. This is much harder than the other two options but can work well for smaller businesses willing to collaborate to drive leads to their business.

Executing this strategy multiple times a year will consistently generate leads and customers from new audiences.

Here’s a screenshot of my inbox flooded with leads after executing an expert session webinar to an audience.

Speaking From Stage

Maximizing Your Lead Generation

I’m hopeful that by now, you’ve either committed to or are seriously considering leveraging a lead-generation strategy that involves trade shows, conferences, or virtual events to drive more leads and revenue for your agency. If so, here are seven tips to help you maximize your lead generation efforts.

Qualify Your Leads

Not all leads are created equal. Be sure to qualify your leads by asking them about their business, needs, and budget. This will help you focus your time and energy on the leads most likely to convert into customers.

Follow Up Promptly

Once you have collected a lead, be sure to follow up promptly. Send them an email or call to thank them for their interest and learn more about their needs.

Follow-Up Strategy

Have a well-defined follow-up strategy in place for the leads you collect. Send personalized emails thanking attendees for stopping by your booth and offering them a more in-depth audit or consultation.

Feedback and Testimonials

Encourage attendees who’ve used your audit services to leave feedback or testimonials. This can serve as social proof and help build trust with potential leads.

Nurture Your Leads

Once you have followed up with a lead, not everyone will become a customer. Be sure to nurture them over time. Send them informative content, invite them to events, and offer special promotions. This will help you stay top-of-mind and build trust with your leads.

Leverage Social Media

Promote your agency’s presence at the conference on social media before, during, and after the event. Use event-specific hashtags and encourage attendees to follow and engage with your accounts. You can also run targeted social media ads to attract attendees to your booth.

Following these tips, you can use your trade show or conference booth to generate more leads and grow your business.

Bonus: Speaking From Stage

Speaking at events can be an incredibly effective way to generate leads for your agency. Although it usually requires a significant investment of time or money, executing it well even once could have a transformative effect on your agency’s growth.

This strategy deserves a dedicated guide; for now, I’ll do my best to give you an overview of this strategy in case you may be pursuing an opportunity to speak at a tradeshow, conference, or virtual event.

I’ve personally used this strategy for my agency a few times. The last time I did it was to present Five Ways Businesses Can Double Their Website Leads. I provided actionable advice, examples, and at the end of my presentation, I informed the attendees I was offering a free high value bonus to all attendees.

Anyone who wanted to know how to double their website leads was told to visit the landing page we created for the event, enter their contact info, request a free website audit, and a 20-minute strategy call.

Here is a screenshot of the presentation:

Five Ways Businesses Can Double Their Website Leads

Speaking at a conference positioned me as a subject matter expert and gave me credibility. My offer was directly correlated to the content I shared, and the ideal prospects in attendance who wanted the desired outcome of generating more leads from their website opted in for our audit and consulting offer. There were warm leads who were interested in learning more about how we could help. I’ve used this strategy several times and have generated tens of thousands of dollars and new customers using it.

It’s also led to great friendships, business partnerships, guest webinars, and blog opportunities.

As I conclude this guide, I would like to highlight some great advantages that you might not have considered regarding speaking at a trade show or conference. This opportunity can benefit your agency and help you generate more leads.

Credibility and Authority

Speaking at a trade show or event positions you as an industry expert. You can use it to establish credibility and authority in your field, making your agency more attractive to potential clients seeking knowledgeable and experienced partners who know their industry to solve their problems.

Showcasing Expertise

Speaking engagements allow you to showcase your agency’s expertise, methodologies, and results without sounding like you are selling from the stage.

Brand Visibility

When you speak or sponsor a trade show, you put your brand in front of potential clients, industry peers, and potential partners, both in person and online, increasing overall visibility. Most sponsors showcase who is speaking or sponsoring the event on their website, social media, email blasts, print collateral at the actual event, and more.

Content Marketing Opportunities

Speaking at events provides content that can be repurposed for various marketing channels. You can use recorded sessions, presentation slides, and key takeaways for blog posts, social media content, webinars, or whitepapers, extending the reach of your message.

Speaking at events can help agency owners like you generate leads directly and contribute to brand building, authority establishment, and industry networking. These benefits can significantly impact the growth and success of your digital agency.


Trade shows and conferences offer a valuable opportunity for agencies to connect with potential clients face-to-face, network with potential partners, gain visibility, and generate leads.

To increase your chances of success, offering something of value, such as a free website or GBP audit, product or service giveaway, or partnering with vendors, is essential.

At My Web Audit, we have audit tools, reports, lead magnets, landing pages, and email templates to help you execute this strategy.

By following these strategies, your agency, like mine, can maximize your investment and generate more leads.

Clifford Almeida

About Clifford Almeida

I’m a serial entrepreneur, agency owner, change-maker and globe trotter. I created My Web Audit to help web professionals generate more leads and close more deals faster.

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