While sales metrics are a key indicator of your trade show marketing success, it’s important to consider all of your non-sales objectives as well. Fortunately, return on objective calculations are mostly empirical and, depending on the objective, can be measured right after the event.
Start by determining and gaining internal alignment on clearly measurable goals. These goals should align with your overall business objectives like:
Number of Leads Generated
Depending on industry, the value of a new client can take some time to realize so it is important to properly tag leads in your CRM system. Having this information at your fingertips will allow you to calculate the potential lifetime value of each customer gained from your trade show.
This metric can be calculated using a number of methods based on how you are tracking the attendees and their actions in your booth. It can include the number of badge scans, a count of new LinkedIn connections, or business cards exchanged and/or conversations started in your booth. In addition to this, all leads should be promptly assigned to sales teams for follow-up.
It is important to define and gain internal alignment on clearly measurable goals before attending any event. These are called return on objectives or ROO and can include a variety of metrics such as the aforementioned, but also the total amount spent on your booth space and your total costs for the event.
Number of Sales Generated
Counting sales generated as a result of trade show leads is a critical metric for assessing your ROI. It takes weeks and sometimes months for leads to convert into purchasers, but this metric helps you determine how much value the leads generated at your event provided.
It’s important to have the right data collection and measurement tools in place before the show to make accurate ROI calculations. Avoid using solutions that don’t integrate with your CRM or other marketing systems or you’ll end up with incomplete information and a less accurate ROI picture.
Use lead capturing technology that allows your team to instantly capture and manage leads through badge scans, business card scans or manual entry – then immediately send them off to your sales team for follow-up. This will allow you to track and quantify each lead’s average customer value, a valuable metric for planning future trade shows. This metric is also useful for comparing the performance of trade shows to other marketing channels over time.
Number of Follow-Ups Generated
If sales are the primary goal of trade show participation, then a close analysis of the number of leads that made it all the way through the funnel is a must. A proper follow-up strategy ensures that qualified leads are passed to sales teams and ultimately converted into customers.
If your team has access to closed-loop marketing software, this metric should be relatively easy to calculate. Once you know the number of sales generated from your trade show lead list, you can determine your ROI by subtracting the total cost of attendance from the total revenue and dividing the result by your investment.
It can take some time to fully understand the value of a client gained through your trade show efforts, but tagging clients in a CRM will give you insight into their lifecycle value and help you make more informed decisions about your future trade show presence. This will also help you set realistic expectations for future events that may be more difficult to predict than past performance.
Number of Contacts Generated
The number of leads generated is one of the most important metrics to measure trade show ROI. Using effective marketing strategies like pre-show campaigning, creative booth designs, and knowledgeable event staff can help you generate a large number of potential customers in your booth. This can greatly enhance your business’s overall ROI from the event.
Keeping track of the number of contacts you generate at a trade show can also help you calculate average cost per opportunity. This metric is not only useful for determining ROI, but can also help you improve your sales process. It’s important to track the value of each client so you can see if they’re a good investment for your business.
This metric can’t always be measured immediately, as it will depend on your industry and whether you have a long sales cycle. However, by calculating average customer value and running predictive ROI calculations each month, you can get a clear picture of your overall success.