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How to measure ROI on Trade Show Participation

Trade shows and conferences are the ultimate sales and marketing tools for many companies. How can a business go wrong with hundreds or maybe even thousands of attendees swarming around its booth? Actually, lots can and often do go wrong. The cost of participating in large events is typically high, and the ROI on that money spent is difficult to track. If there’s travel involved, businesses have to cover the airfare, food and lodging of the employees who manage the exhibit. Renting equipment and customizing a trade show booth is also expensive. While nothing beats the excitement of having your brand represented at a large convention center or the rush of meeting customers and shaking hands with prospective ones, it’s important to correctly measure what you’re getting in return.

Measuring ROI on Trade Show Participation

Post-event Diagnostics

After everyone has recovered from jet lag and returned to the office, another kind of work has to be done. All the data that was captured at the trade show you just did has to be looked at closely. Having used a mobile app such as DoubleDutch would have simplified this process. It enables a business to extract meaningful information about conference attendees and where they stand with your brand.

What Kind of Data Really Matters?

The sales representatives on your team measure success by how many deals they close afterwards with the prospects that the conference connected them with. But there’s other crucial information relevant to new business development and existing client relationships:

  • What drew attendees to your exhibit?
  • What kinds of solutions did those who stopped by actually have?
  • If you gave sponsored presentations during the event, who actually attended?
  • What did they think about the content that your presenters shared?
  • Did they request further information?
  • Did these new prospects fit within your usual target market or do they make you rethink who your customers really are?

Most importantly, as you track your ongoing interactions via email and phone with contacts made during the trade show, where are they ultimately leading?

Maximizing Your Trade Show Presence

Standing out and engaging attendees at a trade show is the most worthwhile pursuit of all. Just exhibiting and presenting is passive. When attendees enter a massive convention center, they have lots of options. That’s why mobile interactions with them are critical to your ROI. Using a mobile conference application that enables you to feed live information via smartphone to attendees about your company’s real-time activities at the trade show, can keep your brand at the center of their itineraries and assertively impact your market share.

In conclusion, trade shows are big complex sales and marketing opportunities. Assessing the value they bring to your brand is not a simple thing. The better your ability to analyze the data you bring back, the more accurately you’ll be able to leverage how you exhibit and interpret what the benefits of participating in big events are. In other words, smart companies don’t let their sales people hoard the business cards they collected and wait for subsequent sales numbers to justify the expense of their exhibit. They use technology such as DoubleDutch mobile solutions to stay connected to their prospects during conferences, and by using the same smart technology; they’re able to methodically compare what they spent on a conference to what they later make.

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