Although trade show ROI and efficiency measurements are important, customer feedback on the value and effectiveness of your events may be the most valuable information you can get.
Events are communication and engagement tools with the goal of gaining specific, desirable behavior from participants. This behavior only occurs if participants are persuaded and motivated to act. To know how well your event marketing program accomplishes these goals and how you might change future events to be more effective requires insight through the eyes of your attendees.
As a reminder, there are these critical success factors for a marketing event:
- You must attract the “right” people to participate in your event, i.e., those who can act in a beneficial manner.
- You must give participants information and an experience that is persuasive and conclusive.
- You must gain participants’ commitment to “take the next” that will help you and your company accomplish your goals.
Therefore, you must ask the following questions and gather the relevant information to understand how well your program is performing:
- Who are your attendees? You want to determine the demographics of your visitors versus the demographics of the event’s overall base of attendees.
- Why did your attendees choose to visit your booth? You want to capture whether they planned to visit before they arrived in the exhibit hall, or if your messaging and engagement activities enticed them to enter.
- What did they learn as a result of visiting your exhibit or event? Be sure to find out what information was most valuable to their future plans.
- What do participants plan to do as a result of their visit? Specifically, you want to know if they will commit to taking the steps you have specified necessary to achieve results.
There are several ways to collect this type of information. Each process has various advantages and disadvantages. At times, a mix of research techniques provides more reliable and insightful results.
On-site survey techniques, such as a random visitor intercept survey, allow for participant profiling, immediate feedback on the visitor’s experience and prediction of post event behavior, such as purchasing intent. On-site research provides actionable information regarding:
- How well your exhibit is organized
- How to arrange and manage customer flow
- The effectiveness of your message hierarchy
Post- Event Surveys
Post-event survey techniques can provide validation of customer behavior and are also a good way to test the event’s impact on brand awareness and retention of specific product marketing messages.
- Did the visitor receive a follow-up or progress through the “next steps” of the program?
- What specifically did they do with the information they received while in your booth?
- What did they buy at the show, and from whom?
- Was the visit to your exhibit a factor in their buying decision?
- What impression of your brand do they have now that they have returned from the show?
On a grander scale, you can reach out to your entire leads universe quarterly or annually to validate the effectiveness of follow-up by your company and to create a projection of actual purchasing results, including an estimated amount of sales. You can perform statistical analysis on your program data to see which factors most influenced customers who bought, or identify those who were satisfied or dissatisfied with their experience with your company.
ROI and efficiency measures are important. However, making the right changes in future events is much easier when you have good customer feedback. Decide which survey techniques will work best to validate and improve your results in the business development and communication objectives associated with your company. For assistance with developing your own method of gaining participant feedback, contact Exhibitus’ Results Division today.