Trade Show Marketing ROI

Joseph Coupal - Monday, November 19, 2012

B2B companies who measure their trade show ROI are able to increase the effectiveness of their exhibit marketing investment and determine which trade shows are working.

Many companies keep doing trade show exhibiting without much hard analysis of if the trade show is generating a positive ROI.

Determine if a trade show is worth the investment.

1. ROI

The best way to track ROI is using this formula:

ROI = Gross Profit – Marketing Expenses

It’s important that the gross profit number reflects deals that happened due to attendance at the trade show. For the purpose of the calculation, you would assume that the deals would not have happened if you didn’t attend.

2. Tracking

To determine what leads and sales were generated as a result of the trade show, a CRM tool is recommended. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is software for managing a company’s interactions with customers, clients, and sales prospects.

During or immediately after the show, enter every lead generated (via badge scanning, business cards, or email addresses collected). Then set up reports to monitor the performance of those leads, and when a lead becomes a customer, calculate the lifetime value of that customer and enter it into an updated ROI calculation for that show.

As the lead matures, you will be able to determine which shows are generating a positive ROI and which shows might actually be a drag on earnings.

For help with your trade show exhibit, contact The Exhibit Source.


Trade Show Exhibits Made from Recycled Materials

Joseph Coupal - Monday, June 25, 2012

Think of the statement you could make at a trade show with a “green” trade show exhibit.  The whole objective of trade show displays is to attract the right clients by projecting the right marketing message. With a green trade show display, your marketing message could be twofold. “This is what we do, and we do it responsibly”.

Is your company going green and promoting sustainability with its marketing efforts?

The Exhibit Source has a full line of environmentally-friendly trade show display products: modular exhibits, graphics, and booth accessories. With the visual impact and durability you need, they are made exclusively with materials that are renewable, recycled, and recyclable from bamboo plywood and fabric made of recycled soda bottles.
Green trade show exhibits demonstrate your company's mission, marketing proposition and commitment to responsibility.  Contact The Exhibit Source, New England's exclusive distributor of high impact “green” trade show exhibits.

More Leads with Your Trade Show Exhibit

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Most businesses that regularly attend trade shows believe that they are a good investment. However, there are methods and strategies to get more leads with your trade show exhibit design:

  1. Get a bigger booth
  2. Get a booth space closer to the hub of traffic, or by a bigger competitor
  3. Get a corner booth space
  4. Backlight your trade show display graphics
  5. Design your exhibit to more boldly, and clearly say why attendees will benefit from working with you
  6. Put fewer elements on your exhibit, but make the remaining images and messages bigger and more concise
  7. Use graphics with images and benefits that appeal more directly to attendees at your vertical market shows
  8. Put benefit statements on your trade show exhibit graphics
  9. Replace your tired old display with a new trade show exhibit
  10. Make your exhibit architecture more inviting to enter
  11. Pick more exciting colors on your exhibit
  12. Bring fewer products, such as only your most popular products, to minimize clutter
  13. Get a taller exhibit
  14. Add more lighting
  15. Put messages on your flooring
  16. Avoid an exhibit that looks like everyone else
  17. Keep your booth neat and clean throughout the show
  18. Move interesting equipment and technology to the outside of the booth
  19. Use a theme that gets attention and memorably ties into your competitive advantage or offering
  20. Match your exhibit message to your other marketing materials

For assistance in creating your trade show display, contact The Exhibit Source.


Steps to Trade Show Success

Joseph Coupal - Monday, May 21, 2012

With the right planning, B2B marketers can use trade shows to speed up the sales cycle, reduce the cost of sales, and reach customers and prospects.

Many feel that exhibit marketing is the most cost-effective means of reaching customers and prospects; it reduces the buying cycle; it allows you to reach hidden buyers.  Most important, though, is that it can reduce the cost of a sale by as much as 75%.

However, to attain those kinds of results, planning is essential.  And that’s where many trade show exhibitors fall short.

71% of all exhibitors have no measurable goals or objectives or even a written marketing plan.

Here is a 12-step planning process that can be very helpful for B2B companies who are actively marketing or considering marketing at trade shows.

  1. Define the Situation – Who is your company? What is your product and its real benefit? Who are your competitors?
  2. Identify Your Target Audience – This needs to go beyond just the procurement people. Think about the end users and those who influences the buying decision.  You probably have multiple, distinct audiences.
  3. Pre-show Research – Not all trade shows are a good investment of your time and money.  
  4. Set Goals and Measurable Objectives – Sales goals are not a realistic metric given the long sales cycles for most B2B sales, but other goals should be set and measured such as contact and qualified leads.
  5. Have Management Support and Input – To be effective, management needs to perceive trade show marketing as a cost rather than an investment.  Don’t exhibit if you can’t get management support and input.
  6. Strategies and Tactics – This contains the specifics of how to achieve the goals and objectives from #4 above.  Unfortunately, many exhibitors skip #’s 1-5 and start here.
  7. Include Current Advertising and Corporate Communications – Your trade show message needs to be consistent with all other corporate brand touch points.
  8. Pre-Show/At-Show Promotion – After you’ve determined who you really need to see at the show, develop a promotion beforehand targeting that group to drive them to you.
  9. Design a trade show Exhibit to Support Steps 1-8 – Take the perspective of the visitor whose mindset is “what’s in it for me?”
  10. Plan the Follow-Up Plan – According to some experts, 80% of exhibitors don’t follow up on leads. By developing a follow-up program beforehand, this problem can be eliminated.
  11. Involve and Train Your Staff – One of the biggest challenges is getting staff to listen to visitors before jumping into a presentation.
  12. Measure Results and Make Money – This involves getting back to management, comparing results to objectives and determining if a return to that show is in order.

Business to Community

What Else Can you Use Your Trade Show Exhibit For?

Joseph Coupal - Monday, May 14, 2012

Trade show exhibits are an investment and when you invest in having one created, you most certainly want to do it right. Obviously, getting the most out of your investment in key to justifying the investment, and ROI is the point of the show, right?

But there is another way to make use of your trade show display to expand your brand after the event is over that can further help their ROI. How? Use your trade show exhibit to recruit at job fairs and college campuses.

When your organization participates in regional job fairs or recruits at college campuses your trade show display will prominently display your logo, brand, and top products or services to help you recruit the top talent.
Rather than the traditional marketing materials your HR department can create specific recruiting material to hand out along with business cards and product information.

The Exhibit Source designs customized trade show displays that help businesses in any industry get noticed at any trade show. Looking for visually impacting trade show booths? Contact The Exhibit Source.

Common Sense Trade Show Exhibit Tips that Are Not So Common

Joseph Coupal - Monday, May 07, 2012

In designing your trade show exhibit the use of graphics is always important and necessary. But it is the type of graphic that catches the eye first that is most important. In creating graphics be sure to do this first and foremost: Quickly and easily show who you are, and what you do.

This seems like common sense. It is so basic and it is so important in your trade show display, but you would be so surprised at how many people don’t do this.

Remember that you have no more than 5 seconds to catch that potential client’s attention with your trade show exhibit.  Potential customers need to see immediately who you are and what your company does. If they don’t then you have a slim chance at attracting their interest.

You have been to a trade show; you know that there are just too many other marketing messages competing for the attention of attendees. No one has the time to try and figure out what you can provide.

Be sure to concisely state what you do.  Show what problems you solve, solutions you offer and what sets you apart.  Show potential clients that your company can meet their needs.  This also saves your staff time and energy. It helps you qualify the visitors that stop at your trade show booth.

Adding visual graphics help too. Use bullet points, color images or testimonials to encourage people to stop at your booth. Ensure too that your staff knows your product, service and business in order to help increase your trade show ROI.

For help designing your trade show display, contact The Exhibit Source in Newton.

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