The tradeshow industry continues to show strong growth from year to year. Our friends over at Veloxity Inc. created a very informative infographic that shows loads of details about the tradeshow industry. Take a look:
You may have done tradeshows for years, or maybe you’re just getting started. In any event, it’s important that you don’t lose sight of one of the key understandings of doing tradeshows: It’s a mountain of responsibilities.
If you’re the one who’s tasked with getting the booth from Point A to Point Z (and back), knowing what you’re getting into is almost as important as the series of tasks you’re facing.
Having stated that, it doesn’t mean that you should be overwhelmed by the mountain of responsibilities. In fact, if you take a closer look at all of those tasks and responsibilities, you can make it much more manageable, by putting it all in context.
Make a list. Before you can climb a mountain, know the steps.
Build a timeline. Now that you have a list of tasks, determine when they each need to be done. Some should be done right away, others are more appropriate right before the show.
Delegate. If you’re in charge, determine which of the tasks you can farm out to other people on the marketing team. Certainly, some items such as graphic design and scheduling travel may go to other people. You may choose to take care of some tasks and delegate others. When you delegate, be clear on the task and when you want it done. Build your schedule around your communication with those people and tasks.
Keep records. I emphasized this in my book Tradeshow Marketing because I think detailed records will serve you well in many more ways than you can imagine. Document everything.
Keep learning. Young dogs can learn new tricks. So can old dogs. No matter where you are in your career arc, keep an open mind and realize you can find new and more efficient ways to do something. Keep your eyes open for new technology, keep connecting with good people and stay optimistic. You’ll do fine.
You want a new tradeshow booth, but perhaps you don’t know exactly where to start.
You might consider issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to a select group of exhibit houses. This gives you an organized process to judge which exhibit consultant might be the best fit for your company and your project.
Here’s a quick video that examines what it takes to issue an RFP:
Tradeshow Success is built on a lot of moving parts, and it’s often hard to know exactly how successful the show is unless you track the details. So let’s dive in a little and see what 8 essential tradeshow metrics mean the most to your overall success.
Booth visitors: knowing the overall number of booth visitors, or at least a valid estimate, can give you valuable information, especially in a year-to-year comparison at the same show, and from show-to-show. Even though when you measure show-to-show it’s a bit of an apples to oranges comparison, it does give you intel to help judge the show’s effectiveness.
Leads generated: one of the more straight-forward metrics you can track, but it’s important to break them down into at least thre
e levels: hot, warm and cool. This will give the sales team the information to correctly follow up on the hot ones right away and the warm and cool ones later.
Sales as a result of the leads: track how many new customers came out of the show in the first three months, six months and year (depending on the type of product or service you offer). Track the overall sales amount. It’s harder to track B2B sales from a tradeshow simply because you might not get a new customer until a year or more has passed.
New leads: a slight differentiation from all leads, this breaks out the brand new potential clients from those that you’ve had some sort of contact before. Valuable information, indeed.
New customers: same with customers – how many news ones did you get as a result of a show vs. how many are repeat customers that happened to be at the show and buy something because of the show.
Budget: actual vs. estimated. Keeping track of the investment is important; knowing how much over or under budget is critical.
Cost per lead: divide the overall cost of the show by the number of leads gathered to get a cost per lead.
Return on Investment: divide the overall net profit you’ve gained over three, six, twelve months by the net profit from the show (gross profit minus the cost of attending the show).
There are other numbers you can track, but if you do nothing but track these metrics you’ll have a lot more insight into the kind of success your tradeshow marketing program is giving you.
Choosing an exhibit contractor can be a daunting task. Even though your current exhibit house might be competent, are they doing all they can to make your new exhibit experience as good as it can be? Often it comes down to knowing which questions to ask.
In this short video with Mel White of Classic Exhibits, our main exhibit manufacturer, we examine those questions that you should be asking any potential exhibit house prior to forking over large sums of money to them: