How to measure the effectiveness and success of your latest trade show

A key element of exhibition marketing is the ability to really track the success and effectiveness of your latest trade show. There is little point in continuing with a busy show schedule if you are not taking the time to reflect and assess the effectiveness and success of each event!

There are key quantitative and qualitative evaluations that you can do after a show to ensure that you are on the right track with your exhibition marketing, and as importantly, assess where improvements can be made.

Calculate the ROI?

If any marketing activity doesn’t have a positive return on investment, then it really isn’t worth doing. But how do you calculate the ROI? Firstly, it’s important to take a step back and have a keen look at the figures. This can be done right after the show and again in 3 months. Did what the show cost you translate into business above and beyond the spend? The show may have felt like a dud at the time but if a couple of big wins come from your leads a couple of months later, then that can boost ROI.

Did the show deliver new business?

For this question have a think about the quality and quantity of the leads that were generated as a result of the show. Did it deliver new business to your sales pipeline? Did customers leave with a positive impression of your brand? A good idea is to prime your sales and stand staff to ask visitors leading questions.

After the buzz has died down…

In the week after a busy show, take some time to review your activity. It is a good idea to give some key customers that attended the show, a telephone call and ask them what they thought of the show in general and your stand specifically. You can also give the exhibition organiser a call and get feedback from them about what they thought of your presence and the show in general. Other key people to get feedback from are your staff. What did they think of the visitor quality? How did the stand look in their opinion? Can they suggest improvements for next time?

Lessons learned?

Once you have had a chance to digest all the feedback, it is time to review if a particular show was a positive investment for your business. This is of course key! If the answer is ‘Yes’ then it is worth considering expanding your presence next year. If the answer is ‘middling’ then perhaps keep your presence the same. If the answer is a resounding ‘no’ then consider trying out a different show next year.

Do you have any tips to share about measuring the effectiveness and success of a show?