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  • Writer's pictureTom Levers

The Exhibitors ROI for a Trade Event

Updated: Jan 12

There are two audiences for Business Trade Shows or Events:

  1. the attendees,

  2. the exhibitors.


With attendance resuming in a new Hybrid mode (changes due to Covid), ROI is the new focus for both audiences.

With the past few years of Virtual and Hybrid Events, the attendees managed to educate themselves even if fewer hours were spent in attendance. (Attendees spend an average of 8.3 hours visiting all the booths and display at a traditional trade show.)


ROI Proof


One of the key aspects of a successful Event strategy is to have a clear and consistent plan for measuring the results of your event. You should not wait until the end of your Event to evaluate its impact but rather track its progress at regular intervals. This will help you identify what is working well and what needs improvement, as well as provide valuable insights for future decisions.


Depending on your Event goals and organizational objectives, you will need to define the most critical metrics that reflect your desired outcomes. These metrics may include attendance, engagement, satisfaction, leads, conversions, revenue, retention, etc. You should also make sure that these metrics are standardized across all your events so that you can compare them and establish benchmarks for success. By doing so, you will be able to optimize your event strategy and demonstrate its value to your stakeholders.


The sales attribution rate is a metric that measures how much credit an Event gets for influencing a sale. It helps evaluate what marketing tactics are effective.


With a perspective of multi-touch, do you find that there:


- Is a clear sales lift with Event attendees?

- Are you educating customers on expanding their relationship with your company?

- Are you tracking to see if those who refer new customers (i.e., Referral Partners) are also attendees of your Event?

-Are you quantifying the impact of deal closure when your Event is in the mix?


Often the answers to these Event outcomes are obvious, but by answering these questions, marginal events can assess their Event Return On Investment (ROI) and improve their future marketing decisions.


What do Exhibitors Need To Do After the Event?


After months of planning and precise execution, you've finally achieved what most exhibitors struggle with – success. But, while you have every reason to celebrate this achievement, the job is far from done.


Yes, your booth attracted a lot of traffic, and you've probably collected plenty of Trade Show leads, but what you do next immediately after the event is equally important, if not more. It would help if you converted those leads into paying customers to generate positive ROI.


Here are 5 tips to help you follow up with your leads effectively and efficiently:


- Segment your leads based on their level of interest, urgency, and qualification. This ranking will help you prioritize your outreach and tailor your messages accordingly.


- Send a personalized thank-you LinkedIn connection and email to each lead within 24 hours of the event. Remind them of your value proposition, offer them a relevant resource or incentive, and invite them to take the next step in the sales process.


- Use a CRM to track and manage your leads. Capturing interest at an Event has become very simple. Record their contact information, preferences, pain points, and interactions with your brand. This will help you nurture them until they are ready to buy.


- Follow up with your leads regularly via email, phone, or social media. Please provide them with valuable content, answer their questions, address their objections, and build rapport and trust. Don't let them forget about you or your offer.


- Measure and analyze your results. Track your conversion rates, revenue generated, and ROI from each Trade Show / Event. Identify what worked well and what didn't, and use this data to improve your future trade show strategies.



Key Message For The Exhibitors


If you have attended a Trade Show / Event recently, you know how valuable it can be to connect with potential customers face-to-face. However, your work is not done when the event ends. You need to follow up with your trade show leads and nurture them until they are ready to buy or die.


The best way to follow up is to send a personalized email that reminds your contact of your conversation and value proposition. You can also include relevant content, such as a case study, a video, a white paper, or a blog post, showcasing your expertise and credibility. Remember to have a clear call to action that invites them to take the next step in the sales process, such as scheduling a demo, requesting a quote, or signing up for a free trial.


By following up with your trade show leads promptly and professionally, you can increase your chances of converting them into loyal customers and maximizing your ROI. Remember, trade show success is not just about what you do during the event but also what you do after it.


Trade Show / Event Results Take Time... Include a plan for (continued) post-event measurement in your Event strategy. If you just measure progress once, you’re missing out on some meaningful data. Whatever intervals you choose—make sure they’re standardized from Event to Event. This will provide more accurate benchmarks for the future. The most important metrics likely depend on desired outcomes, not just for your Event but also for your organization.


Think bigger! The ROI you can show will strengthen your Trade Show / Event’s value—and can positively impact planning in the future.


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