Can I see ROI from trade shows?

If you’re spending considerable resources on a trade show this year, you need to make sure that the investment (not only the money, but your dedicated team’s time and energy) pays off.

You have probably been asking yourself, can I see ROI from trade shows? Or is it possible to generate ROI from trade shows?

The good news is yes, you can drive ROI from trade shows – whether exhibiting at or attending one. In this article we are going to share how you can ensure you are driving results by prioritizing trade show ROI.

Participating in a trade show tells investors, customers and leads that your company is financially stable, innovative, and actively reaching out to share your new products and services. It also demonstrates your drive and competitiveness by being alongside your competition. But exposure and participation is not enough.

It may seem obvious, but you need to know what ROI will make the trade show worthwhile for you and your company ahead of time so you can reach (and surpass!) your goals. First, set quantitative and qualitative objectives of what you need to achieve at your industry trade show. At the very least, this should be an analysis of all costs including the opportunity cost of team attendees at the show instead of working their usual role.

Make sure you are prepared to track and analyze the following:

– Average cost per opportunity

– Lead generation

– Social media and LinkedIn reach

– Website metrics pre and post-show

– New customers and revenue generated

Setting measurable quantitative goals will make sure you get the ROI you are after.

Once you have an idea of what the cost of the trade show is, you can work to implement a strategy that defines how many high-quality leads you will need to acquire. Events take valuable resources so you need to ensure you get the results you need to make them worthwhile.

A recent report suggests that more than 90% of brands measure trade show success by sales growth, and 81% of firms measure success by the number of qualified leads received. Yet according to a recent study, only 2% of most companies trade show budgets is spent on lead generation tactics. This means you need to move these tactics up to the forefront of your approach.

The best way to achieve a high ROI on your trade show is to capture lead information from booth visitors. Make it a priority to seek out prospects who are qualified and convert them into a lead.

Remember, if you have a system in place to capture lead information and keep in touch with your lead via a relevant and memorable offer or campaign, you will have more of a chance of closing.

In order to implement tracking for your ROI, you’ll want to use an existing software or platform or create your own system. Make a spreadsheet  to input data points including reports on profit/month and tracking lead generation to see how many leads you will need to close and for how long it will take these leads to pay off the show. Although some sales funnels take extended periods, this will prove if the show is worthwhile.