Posted on 23, March, 2020
Last Modified on 23, March, 2020
For any business venture or decision it’s always wise advice to follow “what gets measured gets managed.”
The purpose of attending a trade show is to ultimately grow business, customer base and sales. Without a budget and tracking it, is your company actually getting a return on the investment by attending a trade show? Instead of worrying about how many badges you scanned or business cards you received, tracking these five metrics might help you get an idea of your business’ ROI of attending trade shows.
- Pre and post show – Website traffic: Track your website hits pre-show, the average number of visitors, and what kind of direct and organic traffic it is receiving. Comparing that to those same numbers almost immediately after the show is a pretty quick and simple way to see what kind of impact you made at a trade show. If you did well, both direct and organic traffic should have increased.
- During the show – Social media interaction: Technology at trade shows is becoming more and more important. Launching a product or will be demonstrating one? These can and should be audience interactive. Thanks to social media, these interactions don’t just have to be limited to those in attendance at the trade show. Using apps like Periscope, Twitter, the Facebook Live feature as well as Snapchat or Instagram allows you to share these moments with anyone who may be interested in your business but aren’t at the trade show. Creating a hashtag for your booth theme, product launch or demonstration and having attendees or reporters tweet about the event using it would help you keep track of social engagement and what people are saying about your product or demo.
- Post show – Lead responses: Contacting any leads at a trade show should be done very quickly after the show. Track your email open rate, click through rate, and opt out rate and lead-to-sale conversation rate. This will not only tell you how warm these leads were to begin with but how effective your follow-up plan and emails are.
- Pre and post show – Goal achievements: Whether this is your first trade show or you’re a seasoned veteran, you should have an idea of what you want to accomplish by attending a trade show and if those goals are going to make attending this show a successful venture. Set reasonable and trackable goal but don’t just write them on a check list – plan how you’re going to achieve them and what steps are necessary to do that. After the show, you can track how many of those goals you think you reached, was the work needed to achieve them not enough, enough or too much cost to do so? It’s a good way to evaluate time and capital spent on trying to achieve those goals.
- Pre and post show – Budget: This is fairly simple but ultimately, if you’re spending more on cost-per-contact and cost-per-lead than you’re making back or generating leads from, then your ROI for attending a show probably isn’t very good. Before committing to exhibiting at a trade show, you should already know the cost of the booth space and materials. You should be able to pre-budget shipping, travel, labor and any travel and hospitality costs. Plan what you think is worth spending and how many contacts, leads and sales you would need to generate to make the spending worth it.
There are a number of apps, both free and affordable, that can help you track nearly everything on this list.