Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.
Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.

Managing Your Tradeshow Expectations

Did your recent tradeshow appearance live up to your expectations? Do you consider it successful or a failure, or somewhere in between? How do you measure how successful it was? Where do you start?

Often, it’s a matter of knowing what to expect. If you go into a tradeshow with very low expectations, it might be easy for it to feel successful. If you have no idea how many leads you might generate at a first appearance at a tradeshow that you’re unfamiliar with and you come away with a dozen possible new clients, you might consider that a success.

But if you have been to a show before and know that for the last three years you’ve come away with a hundred leads on average, getting just a dozen leads would be a dismal failure.

How do you determine what you can realistically expect when exhibiting at a new show? Talk to exhibitors who have been there before. Get a feel for their experiences. That’s a place to start. Talk to show organizers and ask them what to expect. Run the math on potential booth visitors.

tradeshow expectations

One of our clients upgraded the size of their booth from a 10×20 inline to a 20×20 island for an upcoming appearance at the International Food Technologists show in 2016. Sure, the exhibit looked great. People loved it. The president of the company was knocked out. But what about the results? Triple. That’s right, the new exhibit tripled their leads, which was way over their expectations. Frankly with the new exhibit it was hard to determine what to expect. But on the first time out with the new exhibit, to bring home three times as many leads as previously, was certainly seen as a big success.

Bottom line: do your best to determine realistic expectations. Don’t compare to what other companies may do or have done in the past. Work only to meet your expectations this time, and exceed them next time.


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Tradeshow Guy Blog by Tim Patterson

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