Expand Tips from the Experts: Evaluating Trade Show Participation

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Susan Volovski, Marketing Content Producer, Expand

Hi, my name is Susan and I am part of the Marketing Department at Expand.

My last post discussed how to get people to your booth by getting it to stand out against the competition. Today, I’d like to talk about how to evaluate trade show participation from the event.

Read my current post to learn how to evaluate whether your event was a success!


Evaluating Trade Show Participation
This first post describes how to get people to your booth. But what do you do once the event is over? You worked really hard getting attendance rate to your booth and don’t want all of that work to be for nothing!

Read following tips for evaluating trade show attendance:

Before the Event
In order to be able to measure trade show participation, you’re going to need to do some planning prior to the event. There are two important things to keep in mind during the planning stage – Return on Objectives (ROO) and Return on Investment (ROI).

objectivesReturn on Objectives is a “pre-event” approach to setting goals, where organizations set initial objectives. This approach deals with pinpointing eventual targets to be achieved by the end of the event. While planning the event, set clear objectives of what you want to accomplish. For example:

  • What do you want people to do as a result of coming to your booth?
  • Who can perform the expected action so that it benefits your company? (i.e. – Who are you going to invite?)

Return on Investment is a more quantitative approach that compares the costs that you will spend on the show to the actual revenue generated. Think about how much revenue you will receive and try not to spend more than that on the cost of flights, hotel rooms, etc. If it’s a smaller show that you won’t get much revenue from, don’t send 10 people. Instead, just send one or two people who are knowledgeable enough to talk about all the products or services that you’re promoting at the event.

roi-roo

During the Event
Make sure that the people attending the event take accurate notes and determine whether your objectives are being met. Also, make sure they have Lead Forms and mark the leads that are high-quality. It’s not about scanning the badges of every single person who comes to the booth; It’s about keeping track of the high-quality leads (i.e. people who actually showed interest in purchasing your products or services.) And make sure that they write down accurate details. For example, if someone asked you to send them a product brochure or asked to have a sales person call them within a certain time frame, you want to make sure all of that information is written down so that someone can follow up with them after the event.

Sample lead form: lead_form4
*Click here to download

After the Event
objectives-bubbleThe first thing to measure after the event is your Return on Objectives. Go back to the objectives that you came up with during the planning stage and determine whether you reached them.  If not, ask yourself why you didn’t accomplish these objectives. What could you have done differently? Did you set realistic goals? Did you talk to enough people at the booth?

Ask yourself, “Did people get our message? Did they process it?” If not, why?

The next thing to measure is your Return on Investment. There are two things you can check to determine your Return on Investment: new revenue generated and cost savings. New revenue generated at a show includes new leads and prospects and growth of your existing revenue database.

Revenue can be a difficult thing to measure because you don’t usually get an immediate sale while at the show. However, instead of waiting until you get the sales, you can estimate the revenue that you generated by gathering the following information:

  • The number of high-quality leads you received from the show.
  • Your company’s average percentage of closed sales per 100 sales calls.

Once you have measured the revenue, you can also measure your cost savings. Is the cost of new revenue from the show more than the cost that you spent on the event?

What do you do after measuring the ROI & ROO from the event?

1. Distribute the leads:
One of the first things you want to do after a trade show is to make sure the leads from the event are followed up on. Make sure to distribute them immediately aftefollow-upr the event. The faster you distribute the leads, the more motivated your staff will be to follow up!

2. Report event performance to senior management:

Create a summary report for the event. Use dashboards for consistent matrices, analysis and event-mix strategy refinement. Compare these scores to averages for all of your events and show the results to your Trade Show Manager so he or she can look at the averages and decide if it’s worth it to attend the show again next year.

Read my first blog post about getting people to your booth >>

View more Trade Show Tips on the Expand website >>


I hope that you found this information helpful.
Click here to see additional Tips on the Expand Blog!

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2 thoughts on “Expand Tips from the Experts: Evaluating Trade Show Participation

  1. Pingback: Ensuring Quality in Our Manufacturing Process | Expand International US

  2. Pingback: Celebrating 20 Years of the Expand QuickScreen 1 | Expand International US

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