Techniques to Increase the Return
on your Trade Show Investment

Companies and marketers find trade shows and industry events to be quite beneficial. However, as you are probably aware, attending exhibitions requires both time and money. Businesses and companies spend approximately 30.2% of their overall marketing budget on events and exhibitions, according to Forrester's research.

Given the large sums of money that are been invested on trade shows, how can businesses get the most for their investment? Six techniques to increase the return on your trade show investment are discussed today. Please continue reading!

Increasing the Return on Investment (ROI) from Trade Shows

1. Create a content strategy for the show's pre-show.

A strong pre-show content strategy is essential for optimizing return on investment. It is not enough to just have a fantastic booth; you must also build interest before to the event.

However, merely increasing your content creation will not have a significant impact on your return on investment. Create material that highlights the importance of the event as well as the value prospects will receive when they visit your booth.

Create appointments in advance:  Garner list of attendees contact for your product ahead of time. Give them a quick description of your business or product, and then ask if they would be interested in scheduling 10 to 15 minutes of booth time. In the event that you have a standing calendar invitation to meet with you, people will be less inclined to miss your exhibit.

The primary and most important step is to advise your prospects on how to locate your booth.  Provide them with a booth number as well as a guide or a unique aspect to help them locate your booth. The display halls at trade shows are quite packed. Make it simple for potential customers to locate you. You should also publicize any freebies, product demonstrations, competitions, or other advantages that your prospects will get if they stop by your booth during the event's pre-show.

  • Customize the subject of the event to the overall topic: Many professional gatherings are organized around a central theme incorporate this subject and generate a variety of content — blog articles, E-Books, webinars, slideshows, and so on – that are centered on it. Then, deliver this information to a list of people who have registered for the event. This is a fantastic approach to providing the material that is both relevant and non-promotional at the same time.
  • Make use of social media to promote your event-themed content: Use event hashtags and dedicated pages to promote your event-themed material. You may utilize social media to capitalize on any interest generated by the event and use it to build interest in your own event. 
  • Identify and contact influencers: Influencer marketing is more than just a trendy term; it's a powerful tool for promoting your brand, goods, and, yes, even events. If you already have a connection with influencers or experts who will be in attendance, provide them with unique event benefits, discounts, or freebies so that they can promote to their respective audiences. It's probable that their intended audience will attend the show in order to have the opportunity to engage with their favorite influencer—and if that influencer endorses your company ahead of the show, you'll likely get even more attention at your booth.

 2. Attract media attention to the trade show by promoting it.

The major form of trade show lead generation is through booth visits—but this isn't the only technique to generate leads. The organizers will almost certainly invite journalists, news networks, and industry experts to offer press coverage if the conference is significant enough to warrant it.

A unique chance for guests to acquire media attention for their firm and goods will be presented. Nonetheless, it's crucial to remember that reporters are not going to simply walk up to your booth and ask for an interview on the spot. Due to the fact that media outlets plan their event calendars months in advance, you must catch their attention early in order to fully benefit from the coverage they provide.

In order to attract media attention during your next trade fair, you may follow these steps:

  • Get a media distribution list. Request the event organizers and get the list of the media organizations and journalists who will be attending. Alternatively, if this is not feasible, you might check press coverage of the preceding year's event. Most of these organizations, journals, and magazines are willing to revisit for a second round of interviews. 
  • Arrange for interviews and demonstrations. Send an introductory email to all media members who will be attending the event no later than two months before the event. Introduce your firm, your message, and any products or services you want to display at the event in a few sentences. Then request that a brief interview or demonstration be scheduled on the following day. Continue to be persistent while being considerate of the other person's time. 
  • Bring something new to the table. Keep in mind that media outlets are on the lookout for stories. Your goods or your brand will not be of interest to the media unless it is actually noteworthy. Suppose you're developing a new product or feature. Trade shows provide an excellent chance to introduce your product or feature to the public. In a press release, announce the launch of the new product and distribute it to members of the media in advance of the event.

3. Make the most of the booth.

It should go without explanation that if you want to attract new clients and prospects, your booth must be noticeable. But always remember that your primary objective is to turn prospects into paying clients! Despite the fact that trade show visitors may flock to booths with attention-grabbing, outlandish ideas, you will only increase your return on investment if you provide something of substance. 

Simply follow these tactics to attract guests to your booth and turn them into leads before they go.

  • Draw attention to your items. Overwhelmingly, once it comes to tradeshow cabinets, attendees make the error of choosing glitz and glamour above substance. Yes, you should be unique with your design – but make sure your items are prominently displayed. Visitors should depart with a clear understanding of what you provide, why they require it, or a plan of action, if applicable. 
  • Arrange for product demonstrations after the exhibition. Unless you genuinely attract someone, the majority of people will quickly forget about you after passing by your booth for a little while. As a result, we propose organizing a product demonstration after the exhibition. Therefore only may you have their contact details and also the follow-up step. 
  • Make use of gifts to increase conversions. Almost any tradeshow booth offers little gifts for attendees to take home with them after visiting the booth. However, don't simply hand away freebies to lure people to stop by your booth; keep in mind you receive something in return. For a bigger prize or giveaway, we suggest that you only give it out to guests who supply their contact information or sign up for a further stage, such as a demo, free trial, or second meeting.

4. Follow-up After the Trade Show

Assuming you performed a good job at your booth, guests may likely have you scheduled in their calendars and be looking ahead to your phone call when you arrive. If that's the case, you've fulfilled your main objective of advertising your product and building relationships with potential customers.

However, it is crucial to devote the same amount of thought and time to your follow-up approach. Consider adopting the following actions to increase the return on your trade show investment:

  • Be sure to follow up as soon as possible. It is critical that you contact attendees as soon as possible in order to stand out from the slew of emails they will get from other vendors a few days following the event. Produce and plan your email messages ahead of time to ensure that they are ready to launch the moment you get fresh leads. Don't be scared to experiment with different send times. If you send your message too soon, guests may probably be traveling to and from the show. If you send your message too late, your guests will have completely forgotten about you.
  • Make certain that the imagery and language used in your post-show contact correspond to the imagery and language used in your booth design. Include photographs as a modest memento of your company's existence. Always keep in mind that your booth is simply one among hundreds that attendees may have visited while at the expo. 
  • Make your emails more personalized. Don't send out identical emails for each and every event or show that you plan to attend. This will waste your time. 

5. Calculating the Return on Investment from Trade Shows

The only way to determine the success of the event show is to track your return on investment (ROI), just as you would with any other marketing campaign. If you don't measure your return on investment, you'll never know if your approach is producing results, improving over time, or becoming stale.

The most basic method for calculating return on investment is: (Profit – Expenditure / Expenditure. The "Profit" figure only reflects sales that occurred as a direct consequence of your trade fair attendance; everything else is excluded. Of course, you will not have access to these numbers immediately. Before you can figure out how much profit you made, you must go through the whole sales cycle with your customers. 

Ensure to tag every trade show lead with an event-specific keyword in your customer relationship management system. Once leads begin to convert into paying clients, we can instantly identify participants and analyze their return on investment (ROI).

6. After-Show Analysis

Previously, we discussed how to assess return on investment (ROI) after a trade show visit. However, given that you do have those figures in hand, you may still be unsure about the significance of trade shows and industry events in general.

What we recommend is as follows: Begin by comparing your return on investment from the trade show to your typical event ROI. Did your performance improve or deteriorate? Also, compare the amount to the return on investment (ROI) of your typical marketing effort. If you discover that your return on investment (ROI) at your most recent trade show was lower than usual, analyze your tactics and determine what you can do to enhance your results.

Here's an illustration: In the month of December 2014 you visit two trade exhibitions. You produce nearly the same amount of leads at each of your gatherings. However, you received far more product demo requests at the second exhibition than you did at the first.

You examine your actions and ask yourself, "What did I do differently?" Would that be your booth set-up that caused the problem? What is your marketing plan for the show's run-up? Alternatively, you might have presented an alternative giveaway option. Later, you discover that you employed a creative but congested booth design at the second trade show, which attracted attention but ultimately detracted from the emphasis placed on your goods. You then utilize this knowledge to shape your future trade show booth design, so increasing your return on investment from the trade show.

Takeaways for Increasing the Return on Investment from Trade Shows

Not every trade event will be worthy of your time and attention. In contrast, if you completely avoid using them, you will lose out on a significant chance to interact with prospects. Take a look at this example of how useful trade exhibitions can be if the approached right (source):

  • 40% of Executive decision makers make purchasing choices when visiting a trade exhibition, according to a survey.
  • At the most recent trade show they visited, 75% of decision-makers discovered at least one new supplier.
  • 53% of tradeshow participants expressed a desire to have a sales representative visit their firm after the exhibition.

LeadGarner can provide you with further information on how to improve your B2B marketing approach. Our B2B contact database is the answer you've been looking for to achieve your marketing objectives.