How do you know if the trade show is a success? Many are joining in on the smart investment of trade show marketing, despite the toll it puts on the schedule and the wallet, but then there’s no way to track if the investment was worth it.
Now, companies that want to take part in trade shows to gain new customers, connect with others in the industry, and form new partnerships, can track their trade show success and see what kind of ROI they were able to get. Let's take a look at the ways to measure your trade show success so that you can feel good about the time, energy, expense, and commitment you are putting into these exciting shows.
Lead generation and measuring it
One of the biggest reasons to get involved in the trade show is to generate new leads and later turn those leads into customers. Converting customers that you’ve already met and presented your brand to is one of the best ways to increase your customer base and gain loyal ones for life.
It's important to determine the right strategies to get the leads, but once you do, make sure you have a landing page for a potential customer to submit their contact details and get in touch with you. By collecting data online through sharing your landing page on social media or by collecting the data at the trade shows, you start the chapter on this new relationship with a new customer.
Once you’ve started collecting leads, it’s time to measure your results. Being successful at a trade show means that you are creating brand awareness, and that can be easily tracked through your website’s organic traffic.
Track how many people go to your website through directly searching in their web browser for your URL, and then track how many people from the trade show go to your landing page that you specifically promoted. You’ll be able to see how many found you through an online search from internet marketing and how many found you from meeting at the trade show. You can also measure how many visitors arrived pre-event and post-event.
Then, take the time to set up a tracking URL on your landing page to determine which leads came from the trade show vs. other marketing efforts. Understanding which source a lead found your landing page, such as a referral, social media, direct traffic, and the trade show, will help you see where you are gaining the most leads. You can use software with analytic tools to help identify where people came from.
Use social media for tracking
Another method is to use social media during the show by keeping in touch with your followers, creating a hashtag to engage fans, and promoting specials on your page to see who takes advantage. After the show, you can track how many times your hashtag was mentioned, how many @ replies you received on twitter, look at how many Facebook posts you got, and see if you gained more followers during and after the show.
Tracking customer relationships management
Another reason for going to the trade shows is to strengthen existing relationships with customers. You can use the trade show to remind them of why they want to keep working with you and meet you in person once again.
You can track this by asking your clients how they feel, getting their feedback on social media, or using special apps to help manage your sales. Did you find that customers that you met with just reordered with you after the show? Use this as another reason to attend and keep track of how successful it was. What types of responses are your customers giving you? All of this data can help you to perform better and determine your trade show ROI.
Look at the budget
Lastly, you’ll want to track how the trade show impacted your budget and what you earned because of it. If you’re spending more on each contact and lead than you make from generating those leads, it may be time to reassess your trade show strategy.
Are you spending too much on a booth or buying a display that you could be renting? Is your staff underprepared for the occasion and isn’t converting leads to customers? Are you spending too much on travel and labor while neglecting to learn from these new customers after the show? Look at what you’re spending versus what you’re earning from the trade shows to see where you could be improving.
These are some of the ways you can measure trade show success to see where you are slipping up and what you’re doing right.