The most common reasons companies attend events, exhibitions and trade shows are:
- To promote company awareness
- To launch new products
- To get sales leads from new prospects
- To get sales leads from existing customers
- To improve and maintain PR
This list is not the only reasons and there are various other reasons a company might attend a show, these however, are a great starting point for you to consider.
So, before you arrive at your event, you need to decide what you aim to get from it and how you’re going to quantify it as a success. I have put together a few thoughts to help you to make sure you know what you want to achieve and how to measure if you did so successfully.
- Set Goals
Define exactly what you want to achieve from attending the event or exhibition. Whether your goals are revenue based or they’re less clear and easy to measure, make sure you head into your event knowing exactly what you want to achieve.
For example, saying you want to “increase brand awareness” in not really a goal that can be easily measured. However, saying that you would like to “take the contact details for XX amount of leads to be able to follow up on after the event” is an easier way that is a measurable goal that you can see the success of after the event finishes.
- Set Timeframes
In addition to setting goals for your exhibition attendance, set time frames in which to achieve those goals. Perhaps set yourself the goal of following up on all the warm leads you’ve collected within 3 days of the event ending.
This is both easily measurable and easily achievable. And, it is best practice for following up on warm leads from exhibitions before they begin to go cold.
- Measuring Generated Sales
Measuring the amount of revenue your company generates that can be directly linked to an event is difficult, given that it is rare for sales to be closed at the exhibition itself and sometimes leads might take months, to convert.
You can get a fairly accurate and acceptable approximation of your ROI that is based on real statistics provided by your sales department if the sales leads generated from your exhibition is tracked from beginning to end. This then is an achievable measure of potential revenue from the exhibition. It is then down to your sales team to close those leads.
Another effective way of measuring your success is to encourage and seek out comprehensive feedback.
Talk to the staff you had on your stand, talk to your new prospects and existing customers and find out how valuable they thought your attendance was, it is simple to create your own survey to collect information that will prove invaluable to you as a company, this could be done by using a simple cost effective SurveyMonkey for example and send it to all the people whose email addresses you collected at the show.
Some of the questions you might want to ask;
- Did the stand out and attract your attention and why?
- Was the stand’s location good and why?
- What should we do again and why?
- What shouldn’t we do again and why?
- How could we make it better?
- What was the most valuable part of the show and why?
- What was the least valuable part and why?
- Were there enough (or too many) people at the stand and why?
- Was the size of the stand appropriate and why?
- Was the company literature effective and why?
- Was the promotional material worthwhile and why?
- Did you feel we displayed the right products and why?
There are many ways to measure the success of your presence at an event, exhibition or trade show but the ones I have outlined here are often the most successful and easily measurable.
Whatever you want to achieve from your presence at the show make sure that you set clear and realistic goals before you go and measuring your performance shouldn’t be too difficult.
Here’s to your event success!