I was sure that Dreamforce 2009 in San Francisco would rival ad:tech New York this year in terms of follow-ups. After all, most of the companies at DF09 were promoting some type of sales automation techniques. Within a few days of returning home I received several frantic cold calls that were most definitely cold and ill prepared. Not one of the messages they left referenced my name or the name of my business (which is in the message on my voicemail too!). People who make cold calls should take a deep breathe in between, the stress and rush they were feeling definitely comes through.
As with ad:tech, DF09 was absolutely pathetic in terms of follow-up efforts. The DF09 show was opulent, even glitzy compared to ad:tech, but what did any of that matter if exhibitors went into it without a plan?
Everyone waited until the week after Thanksgiving, which was smart. I could picture all of the marketers meeting in conference rooms post-show saying ok we have all these names NOW WHAT???? The way the follow-ups were done reflected this haphazard attitude. Not one follow-up had my name in it, nor did they make effort to follow-up on the specific informational tidbits I gave them by way of survey and comment cards in their booth. Clearly the people at the show were there to trap information at whatever cost and then spam said people carelessly.
General Colin Powell was amazing at DF09 and I left his keynote with the desire to go find an American flag to wrap myself in. In terms of imagination and showmanship I would say that DF09 was superior. Why even bother? I do not claim to be the zen master of tradeshow follow-ups, but I always make sure to plan for them prior to attending any event.