How to measure the value of trade show marketing
Trade show marketing is unique in that sometimes it can seem impossible to effectively communicate how valuable these marketing efforts are to your bottom line. With most types of marketing, determining the value of your efforts is not that difficult. For example, when you purchase online ads there is an analytics program built-in to show you how many impressions, clicks, and conversions you gain from the ad. Using these numbers, you will quickly see whether it was a profitable venture for your firm or not. With trade show marketing, it’s not that simple.
However, there is a method to help you compile the necessary data and find the value of your trade show marketing program. This can be especially beneficial if you decide to grow it in the future. Consider these four steps as your ticket to understanding trade show marketing value.
Identify an estimated trade show marketing impact
Because you don’t usually close a deal on the floor, measuring the trade show marketing and the revenue that it may raise can often be difficult to track. Because the leads that you make in a trade show are routed to the sales team and may take months or even years to turn into a sale, you may have no way to track it back to the original show. While you may not be able to measure the exact revenue generated, it is possible to estimate an approximate value using certain assumptions and prior records from your sales department. All you need to do is multiply the number of sales leads you get from a particular show by the close rate average of your sales team and then multiply that number by the average value of a sale or contract with your firm and you’ll have the estimated total revenue for that show. It’s easy as that.
Record Your Savings
In addition to generating income for your organization, a trade show can save your company money too. After all, when you have a booth at a trade show you can hold many meetings during a small time frame. To estimate the savings gained from one trade show, consider this calculation. Add the average cost of an off-site meeting (times the number held at the show) plus the cost of an average field sales call (times the number of qualified leads you develop) plus the cost of acquiring qualified names for a database (times the number of contacts collected) plus the cost of any other identified savings and you’ll have the total that you save by participating in that show.
Estimate the value of trade show marketing promotions
Think about all of the different ways that you are heard or seen by an audience at a trade show. These methods can include direct marketing, on-site promotion, the exhibit itself as well as media coverage. Then, think about the number of people that each of those activities reaches. With these numbers, you can estimate the number of impressions you have through the show to give you a cost per impression figure that you can use to qualify the value of the trade show marketing budget.
Figure out the payback ratio – When you’ve calculated potential revenue, savings and promotional value for participation in a show, add the figures together to determine an estimated the value of your presence. Then, you can divide this value by your total show budget to determine the payback ratio.
For many companies, when they look at the hard numbers, participating in trade shows is a more valuable activity than once thought. You may find that given these numbers you are willing to invest a bit more in your budget to create a one-of-a-kind booth experience that will enable you to accomplish EVEN more with your convention time. Or, if things are not working out as planned, perhaps something needs to change, and you need to think creatively to reach more people and accomplish more with your trade show marketing efforts.
One of the most challenging things for anyone exhibiting at a trade show is I&D, or installation and dismantle. This process is a vital part of your trade show experience, because after all, without an installation there would be no booth. No matter how carefully you plan, an unexpected problem in the installation or even the dismantling of your exhibit can lead to disaster, costing your precious money or time. We have put together a few pieces of advice for you to keep in mind that may help you be more successful with setups and tear-downs and thus make your trade show experience that much more impactful.