Attending or sponsoring trade shows are an integral part of any marketing plan. Trade shows/ Events give tremendous visibility to your brand but usually come at a hefty price. As a part of the marketing team, you would wish that you would get continued approvals to spend at these events. However, to be able to do that, you must be able to demonstrate ROI very quickly.
In its purest form, ROI is calculated based on the amount of business that you were able to generate through the event vs. the total spending. For some companies, it is difficult to establish this link very firmly as customer relationships get nurtured over time, and a meeting from the event might result in business a year later or even longer. The other way to look at ROI is the number of qualified leads or warm inquiries that sales were able to generate at the event. It is usually a good measure and is a leading factor that determines what amount of business you can potentially close from the event.
If you are looking to generate leads at the event, then you need to have a good number of footfalls at your booth. For this, you need to engage with all your potential visitors before the event. This ensures they are warmed up and time needed to convert them to a qualified lead, while at the event is minimized. How can this be achieved? We talk through this and some other ideas about how marketers can improve their ROI at the event and improve trade show marketing
Invest in building a prospect list of potential visitors that you are targeting for your products/solutions. If you are a booth sponsor, most events will hand you a list of registrants. See if you can engage with them and start a conversation over email, over LinkedIn. All registrations are never made on time, and there are a lot of last-minute registrations. You could look at attendees from past events, or target companies/people whom you feel will attend the event and target them through a planned multi-level communication.
Ensure readiness of Your key messages, your elevator pitch, and your key offer before you launch into a communication initiative. Emails offer you an excellent option to reach your potential visitors before the event. If you are making sense through your messaging and you have an interesting offer, people will be interested in meeting you, and your pre-event meetings calendar will start filling in fast.
Every visitor to the event will come to your booth, but many will pass by, for sure. If you can plan engaging, interactive and absorbing content at the booth in the form of graphics, 3D animations, videos, imagery, then you have every chance that visitors will give a second glance and might even want to come over and talk to you at the booth.
Ensure to your booth layouts is easy for people to walk in and interact with your teams. Having videos powered by 3D Engineering animation can make a significant impact in making your booth a ‘must visit’ place.
Everyone is looking for freebies that they can carry home. Invest in having a branded give-away at the event that people will be interested in carrying back. The staff at your booth can create a riot with these give-aways, and footfalls are sure to rise. To make it even more exciting, you can also keep a bumper price that is much more expensive but is available for people who register for that price. That way, you can have all the details that you will need for marketing follow-ups and excite people to visit your booth as well.
Don’t leave it to your sales guys to follow up with all the leads at the event. Get all the leads centrally captured, plan nurture reach outs, update them in the CRM tool. Record follow-ups are done by the sales guy. Track these leads to their logical closure so that you can maximize the ROI from the event. If you leave it to the sales guys, they will end up following up with the hot leads and others may fall through the cracks.
Ensuring higher ROI at events is marketing’s responsibility. By preparing well before the event and managing the post-event follow-ups, it is possible to improve the event ROI drastically. Accountability and ownership is the key and as long as marketing takes this ownership very seriously, you can rest assured of great response from your trade show marketing.