Trade Show ROI analysis is important!
Your trade show ROI figures are only a small portion of the comprehensive overall marketing ROI data you should thoroughly know about. It is crucial for the management of all kinds and sizes of companies to have a deep understanding of the return on their marketing expenses in order to perfectly assign the most appropriate budgets for the next business year.
The fact that so many companies are unable to measure the ROI of such a powerful marketing instrument like trade shows can easily lead to a misallocation of marketing funds being invested in the wrong areas, which directly impacts the performance of the company as a whole.
Trade Show ROI – easy to measure
Many marketers are afraid of even starting to analyse their trade show ROI. Too much work, insufficient data, blah blah blah …just poor excuses. Really, it’s no rocket science and will not require weeks of your valuable workforce.
Please just keep in mind that from floor space rental fee, over designing and building your booth up to travel and accommodation and much more, the total costs involved in exhibiting at a trade show can quickly sum up. Even a smaller trade show can cost your company a five-figure sum, especially if the venue is located in another region of your country.
Because trade shows require such a significant investment, it’s essential to measure and document not just how much you have spent on that trade show but also how much you have earned as a result of this participation.
Several surveys in Europe and US came to the same result: More than 50% of the exhibitors don’t measure their trade show ROI at all or only insufficient. What a waste of money and lost uncovered knowledge!
Measuring the trade show ROI of your events is slightly more complicated than tracking and measuring online marketing ROI. However, with the right strategy and tools, you can get a clear picture of how much profit or value your next event will generate.
So how do you get useful information from your customers?
Trade Show ROI – Start like a profiler
Divide your customers into broad categories. For example: Completely new customers, returning regulars and those clients who were researched and analysed the market a long time before making a final decision for you. At most 5 or 6 categories.
Then you should investigate the following questions:
• Why did these clients order your products or services?
• What influenced their purchase decision?
• Where did they get in contact with you or first heard about you? And so on.
Trade Show ROI means Looking at the Facts
It’s important to discover important, relevant facts about your sales and marketing. How many companies that appear on your lead list, have actually already turned into customers? How many clients had visited your exhibit at a trade show? How many leads did you collect there? How many of these leads were followed-up?
These hard facts help separate wishful thinking from reality. Make sure that, at the very least, you understand some of the things that are working fine for you. There will still be a lot of holes in your knowledge, but at least you’ll know what you know and what is still to be learned.
Trade Show ROI analysis can discover lost opportunities
It’s not always easy to define the effectiveness of your trade show campaigns. Your existing clients can tell you which tactic worked for them — but look for the piece that is consistently missing. Where are you not detecting and identifying potential prospects or customers? Why aren’t they finding you? If you’re winning client A, C and F, but why not D, E and G?
Build your future strategy always on what has been proven to work but also analyse if some activities have not been effective to reach out for new prospects or customers.
Important Trade Show ROI links
There is much more to mention and are many more aspects to be discussed in detail. The web provides an immense amount of documents about Trade Show ROI topics. We suggest you to dive deeper into the thrilling topics Trades Show ROI measuring by starting with the following two:
A short ten page PDF from UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry. You can directly download it here.
MNC – Trade Fair Benefit Check by AUMA Germany
This very sophisticated and comprehensive online tool (also downloadable) supports you in your trade show planning process, especially with the definition of measurable trade show objectives and desired benefits and the resulting budget.
After the trade show, on the basis of the achieved benefits and objectives and the registered costs of the participation, you will create a detailed benefit-cost comparison aka. Trade Show ROI analysis.
Summarizing, there’s no magic answer to Trade Show ROI questions. But there is a process for determining what is working within your company and what is not. It looks simple to do more of what’s working and less of what’s not — but that’s the essence of all successful marketing strategies.
Your striving for Trade Show ROI really is a search for more qualified leads and, finally more sales and profit. Instead of budget cutting based on lack of Trade Show ROI or poorly defined ROI, use the tool above or others available to determine where the deficits are and focus on fixing it as soon as possible.