Before computers ruled, Return on Investment, known as ROI, was one of the few measurements that evaluated business decisions. With today’s analytical capabilities, measurement of trade show ROI has become king, both for determining strategic activities and then evaluating progress. For measurement programs to provide useful information that can improve a marketing campaign, objectives need to be set at the beginning of the planning process, and these objectives need to guide future decisions.
Trade Shows Before Measurements
In the past, trade shows were a siloed activity within a company – housed under marketing, but often seen as a tool of the sales department. By adding measurement based on defined objectives with the goal of determining the overall value of investment, trade show programs can be developed and evaluated as they should be – for their contribution to overall company objectives.
If one of your objectives is around the final sales generated from the event, simply measuring the number of leads is not enough. Adding the dollar amount of “sales opportunity” connected with these leads provides a more concrete picture of success.
How Trade Show Success Is Measured
For some companies that take orders at the show, success can be demonstrated based on the total value of the orders written. But even these companies gather leads that don’t turn into sales until after the doors of the show close.
For most companies, sales occur long after the event is over and the influence of marketing on final revenue becomes obscure. But, if your objectives include sales generation (and whose doesn’t!), here are important steps to determining the value of sales opportunities that your program influences.
First, you will need to know the following:
- What is the estimated percentage of your committed leads (committed to the follow-up action as defined by Sales) that eventually result in a sale? This may be referred to internally as the “close ratio” or something similar. Ask Sales for this number.
- What is the average value of a sale that results from a committed lead/visitor from this show? Again, the Sales Team would have this information. Make sure you understand what this value represents. Is it the value of the initial contract or the value over a number of years? Are annual service fees included in this evaluation process?
In planning for next year’s event cycle, take time to make an appointment with the Sales Team and jointly define the measures of success for your event marketing program based on company objectives. Effective targeting and attraction are prerequisites to a rewarding sales interaction.
The Power of Engagement
Be sure to offer an engagement with a call-to-action (CTA) that moves a desired target to the next step. Engagement should result in moving well-targeted individuals directly into a critical step in the company’s sales cycle. Prospects reached through marketing activity must commit to a step, as in a CTA that Sales agrees is important to the process.
In summary, keep the emphasis on selling and focus the marketing activities by:
- Defining and finding the appropriate targets.
- Engaging and interacting with these targets so that they take the specific action your Sales Team defines as a critical step.
Then count your success by the number of sales opportunities generated, and assess the value of your investment using the estimated revenue to be gained from those opportunities.
Exhibitus makes your company’s success our top priority. Contact us today to speak with our Results Division if you are looking for additional ways to clearly demonstrate your program’s contribution to corporate success.