Typically, your company attends trade shows with the expectation of securing leads to increase overall sales. But often overlooked is the opportunity that trade shows present to save the company money. Here are four top ways to help impact the bottom line at your next trade show.
Schedule Value-Add Meetings
Having representatives from various areas of the company at an event presents “one-of-many” opportunities that are especially effective in reducing expenses related to one-on-one meetings for your executives, department managers and sales team. At an industry event, hundreds (if not thousands) of people who are a part of your business eco-system could meet with you without your company having to contribute to their travel expenses.
For example, at a large show in the past, one of our clients hosted over 1,000 such meetings. They reported appointments with customers, channel partners, strategic alliances, technical experts from vendors they use, standard body members, investors, trade media and industry analysts at their largest trade show. Each of these meetings eliminated time and travel expense that would have been associated with traveling to a future meeting. This client reported a savings estimate of more than $1 million, representing enough return to justify the show budget even without the eventual sales impact.
Reduce Field Sales Calls
Reducing the number of sales calls and the associated costs presents another opportunity for savings. A well-executed event plan would accomplish the same relationship-building objectives with targeted prospects that typically occur in the first few sales calls out in the field. Typically, these calls could cost a company from $400 to $1,000, or more, per visit.
Set Up Interviews
Some companies reduce recruitment costs by using marketing events to engage with suitable candidates or to arrange a number of interviews between a diverse group of company representatives and a prospective employee. This approach is also true when it comes to adding resources, such as suppliers and channel partners, to the company’s eco-system.
Consider Other Opportunities
- Media Events
- Sales Meetings
- Video Shoots
The activities at your next event should be aimed not only at the income side of the profit equation, but the cost side as well. To accomplish this, as the event manager, you should initiate a dialogue with those internal managers who could take advantage of the opportunity for external meetings at your event. These managers can also help you estimate the value associated with doing multiple things at an event, instead of doing them one at at time.
Once you have added a consolidated estimate of savings to your event’s measurement report, you will gain credibility and financial justification for your investment beyond the primary goal of increasing sales.