Events of any nature are expensive and are a huge drain on marketing budgets. Yet, even in today’s online world, physical tradeshows still merit an important place in your marketing strategy.

They can help enormously in building your company’s brand awareness, with maintaining customer relationships as you can meet with them face-to-face, in generating high-quality leads, and in undertaking competitor and market research. Tradeshow expenses can easily spiral out of control and therefore it is important that you put in place a procedure that will help you measure their return on investment (ROI) from the very beginning.

It’s important to understand that ROI is not something that you just measure after the event; it actually starts well before the event begins, right through the event itself and for some time after. To begin, it’s critical that you determine which goals you want to achieve and what metrics you will use to measure the success or failure of your overall event participation: this could be x number of qualified leads, x number of requests for proposals, x number of opportunities, x number of units sold, and so on).

So, before you jump into booking your next event, here are some tips that will help you measure your return on investment (ROI).

Brand Awareness

  • Are people aware of who you are and what your company does?
  • What perceptions do people have of your brand?
  • What overall effect has your exhibition presence had on your brand’s reputation and standing in your industry?
  • Have you experienced increased interest?

Social Media Activity

  • What are people saying about your products and your exhibition stand?
  • Is the feedback positive or negative?
  • How are people responding to your social media presence?
  • How many posts/follows/interactions regarding your stand and your demonstrations?

Website Visits & Sign-ups

  • What effect is your exhibition presence having on your website traffic, if any?
  • Are people following up after speaking to you?
  • Have you created a specific webpage to promote your presence at the show?

Footfall

  • How many people visited your stand over the course of the event?
  • What sort of people and businesses approached you and showed an interest?
  • Is this an increase?
  • Was the show busier than previous shows?

Leads

  • How many overall leads have you generated from the event?
  • Are these leads in your target audience?
  • How many new enquiries?
  • How many qualified opportunities?
  • Have you asked the right questions?
  • How will you follow up on these leads?

Once you have measured all of the above, you will be able to understand how successful the event was for you, your business, and the overall return on investment. These metrics will then help you decide if it makes sense to attend this event again in the future. They will also allow you too better plan your participation at the next event as you will be able to change and improve upon any area that did not work last time.

You might be interested in this article which helps you nurture leads through each stage of the sales funnel.