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


Checking Your Tradeshow Marketing Results

You can have the best booth, a well-trained staff, good products and more, but what about your tradeshow marketing results? How did you really do at the show?

Here are a handful of results and outcomes you can gauge.

Certainly, the most important two metrics to know and understand are leads generated and business generated from those leads. How many sales did you make?

And not only at the show, but in the months to follow. Many shows allow you to sell direct at the show, or strike deals for later delivery, but almost all shows will generate leads for follow up, which is where the money lies. To accurately track the Return on Investment, you’ll probably want to calculate a new ROI every so often, perhaps every quarter, to see how many leads converted to clients along the way. While you may still be tracking new customers from a tradeshow for as much as a year (or longer), I would think that knowing the ROI a year out is sufficient. And assuming you are going back to the same shows, you can start tracking ROI from that show separate from the previous show.

Beyond leads and sales, there are a number of “softer” items to track which can affect your tradeshow marketing results:

Feedback on various things. How did people react to your new exhibit, for example? Did it wow people, or was the reaction a little more ‘ho-hum’? Or is your older exhibit still impressing people?

Feedback on your products. Depending on what you’re pitching or launching, gauging people’s reactions to those items can be very valuable. If it’s a complicated piece of software, for example, is it easily understood? Does it spur a number of unexpected questions? If you’re test-tasting new flavors of your food, what does the look on people’s faces look like when they’re first biting in? If you’re pitching a new service, is it easily understood?

Feedback on your marketing message and graphics. Do visitors immediately understand what you’re trying to do? Do they ‘get it’?

Booth staff: does your booth staff know how to engage for positive results? Do they know how to approach people, or are they sitting in the back of the booth on their phone or eating? These actions can affect your results in a positive or negative way.

Finally, look around at other exhibitors: how do you compare to them? Are your products similar or do they stand apart? Does your exhibit compare favorably to direct competitors (size, layout, attraction, function) or does it look a little pale in comparison?

There are so many things you can measure to check your tradeshow marketing results. The great thing about tracking so many things, even informally, is that you can more easily compare those results year to year, show to show and determine if tradeshow marketing is working really well, or if you need to focus on some specific things to improve.

21 Tips to Maximize Your Tradeshow ROI

The following is a guest article from Jennifer Callahan of Fathom:

It can come as a directive from the top, but most likely it’s Sales or Marketing trying to squeeze company budgets to allow a team to exhibit at a tradeshow. So if you’re part of a team trying to get dollars approved to set up a tradeshow booth but are facing increasing pressure to prove that it’s worth not only the money, but the time away from the office, you need to read on.

No matter which industry you’re in, you have likely seen budget restraints over the past five years. Proving a Return on Investment for Sales and Marketing is more important than ever. So how do you maximize ROI for your upcoming tradeshow?

First, it’s never too early to plan. Following are just a few items you should begin working on now:

–        Press Release: A crucial part of your pre-show marketing. Tell people what booth number you’ll be at and what they can expect from your team. Will you have new product demos? Free assessments? Make it easy for reporters from trade mags to meet with you by stating when and if you’re available to meet with the media.

–        Your Website: On your home page you will want a noticeable call to action (perhaps with a discount code for attendees?) to incentivize anyone attending the show to stop by to check you out.

–        Multiple Blog Posts: This is a no-brainer if you have plenty of time between now and the show. But don’t just do promos about your company. Write about what attendees can expect from the show and the types of events that have happened in the past. And when you return, write a wrap-up blog post.

–        Use Video! If someone from your company is speaking at the event, or if you will be interviewing any notable people from your industry, make sure someone videotapes it. Place the video on your YouTube channel, along with a link to it in your blog, Twitter feed, Facebook posts, etc.

–        Meet with Current and Prospective Customers: Schedule time to meet with your current customers at the booth. It’s not a bad idea to have prospective customers meet with your Sales or Marketing team at the same time. Oftentimes your current happy customers can be great ambassadors of your brand.

–         Toss the Paper: Resist the urge to haul reams of paper documents for passing out at the booth. Get interested prospects’ business cards to email them everything they’re interested in, post-show. Chances are your documents will end up in hotel room trash cans, anyway. This runs into the next tip:

–        Email, Email, Email: Nurture prospects with email post-show. It can start with company documents that explain more about products and services. And from there on out, it’s up to you to continue with marketing automation to further nurture those valuable leads.

While tradeshows may be dwindling in attendance in your industry, there is a way to turn attendees into customers in this digital world. It takes major planning and teamwork between Sales and Marketing. Download the whitepaper 21 (+2 Bonus) Tips to Maximize Your ROI to plenty more tips to make the most of your company’s marketing dollars.

(Tim sez: check out this great infographic):


Find featured work from Jennifer Callahan here.

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Tradeshow Guy Blog by Tim Patterson

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