Are you sure it’s working?
Trade Show Season – Do you Know Your ROI?
Trade Shows are expensive. £15k a time kind of expensive. And that’s the small, low-key, option.
But you’re getting a decent ROI, so that’s okay. Isn’t it?
Or, maybe it’s not actually okay.
Because, according to Display Wizard, a staggering 50% of Trade Show exhibitors don’t measure their ROI.
If done properly, exhibiting at a Trade Show is treated like any other marketing exercise. Objectives are clearly identified, the execution is planned and the outcomes are tracked and measured, meaning your ROI is a known fact.
Goals like ‘brand awareness’ and ‘relationship management’ are unquantifiable. If you can’t track and measure your results, then it’s impossible to know your ROI. It’s a scenario likely to have most management accountants crying over their spreadsheets.
Although there’s little doubt the immeasurable has worth, relying on unquantifiable objectives could leave you flagging behind your competitors, who may well be in the 50% who are measuring their Trade Show ROI.
So how can you ensure your Trade Show exhibits are worth the money?
Know your budget
If you’re not careful, Trade Shows can quickly become a bottomless money-eating pit. Do your research and make sure you know how much you’re going to spend. The exhibition price list is just the beginning. When you decide on the ‘not too big, not too small’ £8k stand space, your total budget needs to be £20k.
40% Stand Space
20% Travel, accommodation and food
10% Show Services (wifi, electricity, rigging, carpet hire)
10% Design and production of promotional display items
10% Insurance, giveaways, packing and shipping, client entertainment
10% Fat – just in case everything costs a bit more than you think
The old adage of ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ should be borne in mind at all times. Before you even think about exhibiting you should be clear on:
- Why are you doing this?
- What is your end goal?
- How much is that goal worth to you?
- How are you going to achieve this?
Traditionally, the real value of Trade Shows has been lead generation. Leads which will fill your sales pipeline for months to come and grow your customer base.
But, in 2020, more and more B2B sales are being placed online and savvy Trade Show attendees are expecting to complete their own objectives there and then. Your potential new customers don’t want to leave the exhibition waiting for your follow-up call.
Fulfilling this demand is possible so long as your business has a near real-time, catalogue hosting sales app that will work offline when your Trade Show wifi fails you. With existing customer details, order history and buying pattern reports at your fingertips, valuable orders can be processed and confirmed in just minutes. New customer accounts and first orders can be set up with the same ease.
Once you’re clear on your costs and goals, you can then direct your team with measurable objectives. With clear direction your team are more likely to succeed.
If you used your iPads to instantaneously process orders and open new customer accounts, you’ll return to the office and immediately know whether or not the event was a success.
However, if you left the Trade Show with a stack of manually completed orders and new leads, it could be months before you can measure results and calculate your ROI. You’ll have a % of orders which don’t complete. Manual data will get lost; customers will change their minds; stock will become unavailable.
In the meantime, you might have more tradeshows planned. Without the ability to immediately analyse and evaluate your work, you’ll be repeating the same strategy without knowing its worth.
When choosing to exhibit at tradeshows it’s imperative you carefully take stock of what was achieved. Match your results against your objectives, measure your ROI, learn from your successes and failures and plan how to improve your strategy for the next event
50% of tradeshow exhibitors don’t measure their ROI. Be in the right 50%.
Aspin Management Systems works with some of the UK’s leading and most recognisable B2B brands, covering a whole range of product sectors.
Our B2B eCommerce products help our customers achieve their ambitious profit growth plans.
We can help you too.
Get in touch and let us show you what we can do.