You’ve done your due diligence and believe you’ve chosen the right event for your business (Read our blog '4 key factors to consider before exhibiting at a trade show or industry conference'). You now need to look at your exhibition objectives in more detail.

02_Seven key exhibition objectives to maximise ROI


 Measuring the success from attending an exhibition is not merely a matter of counting lead data or in some cases, the sales receipts.

Depending on the nature of your business and the type of exhibition you are involved with, there may not be any direct sales ensuing at all, so how do you demonstrate a clear return on investment (ROI) once the crowds have dispersed?

The clue lies of course within the strategy - your pre-event objectives - and whilst there is much value to be gained from exhibiting, careful preparation will often help you to produce a checklist of goals against from which the success of your attendance can be measured.

To help with your decision making process, we’ve created a guide that includes what our clients and partners say are the key indicators of measurable exhibiting success.

 

Sales Generation & Education

The most attributable ROI factor is of course confirmed sales, but if your focus is on developing leads, educating the market, registering new interests or cementing existing customer relationships, then additional preparation for both on and off site is key.

  • Who is attending?
  • What is your target audience?
  • And what are your key product or growth initiatives?

A report detailing the number of stands visitors, leads forms completed and feedback from key team members will help to gauge some measure of how successful you have been. 

Customer Relationships

Your event may not be just about creating new customers, but about cementing relationships with existing ones.

Even if you have a strong and loyal client base, it’s unlikely that those customers know everything about your business and what you offer, so use the opportunity of exhibiting to invite your customers down as your guests.  It will not only give you the opportunity to demonstrate a broader range of products but help you get to know them better.

These opportunites to network with new customers or strengthen existing relationships are perfect to maximise the ROI from exhibiting, whilst developing the potential for new business and revitalising relations with those you haven’t dealt with for some time.

Pre-show planning is key and a packed schedule can reap many rewards. However, be sure to leave some room for unplanned meetings during the show.

 DENTISTRY CSM

Brand Building

Events present numerous opportunities to educate the marketplace about your business USP’s, demonstrate market-leading products or build the profile of your most infuential team members amongst competitors.

  • If brand-building is your focus invest in a bespoke, eye-catching and innovative stand design.
  • If your goal is product or demonstrations, consider different kinds of multimedia technology such as Augmented or Virtual Reality (VR).
  • Or engage one of the many companies that offer experiential opportunities on your stand that are designed to attract large crowds.

When reporting on it’s success, the number of delegates attending your keynote, customers taking a VR tour or visitors to your stand will continue to form critical data components that demonstrate ROI. 

 

Media Relations and PR

A well planned Public Relations (PR) strategy can ensure you gain maximum visibility from a show.

Success comes in many formats including:

  • Direct news coverage
  • Interviews
  • And future opportunities for more in-depth feature articles.

Media relations form a key part of this strategy, and exhibitions will in many cases offer you the opportunity to conduct one-to-one press meetings to provide exclusive commentary to journalists.

According to Damien Wells, Director at Tech PR Agency Spa Communications, PR can add considerable strategic value to companies attending industry events. “Many customers utilise exhibitions as a mechanism for driving press coverage around a specific product launch, or in some cases, a research announcement. To ensure success and maximum engagement from your media targets, ensure you include social media as part of your strategy to drive awareness. Events are busy and not all of your press contacts will have the availability to meet with you during the show.”

Reporting on the number of news articles, impressions, interviews and post-show opportunities are great ways to demonstrate success and ROI from event PR.

 

Product Launches

An exhibition can be a great place to launch a new product but it is important to first do your research. Utilising a well formed PR and Marketing strategy, your company can build anticipation well in advance, which will in turn help to add considerable success to your attendance. 

Providing that logistics are not an issue, try to ensure that your product is available at the event and that both your technical and sales teams are on hand to deal with any enquiries during the show.  

Timing and audience are everything, so be sure to obtain as much feedback as possible from design studies and prototype testing in order to maximise both awareness and sales opportunities as soon as the launch occurs. 

Press coverage, customer enquiries and lead forms again help to demonstrate ROI here.

 

Channel Building and Support

Depending on your go-to market strategy your business may depend on a variety of distributors, resllers, sales partners and product support specialists to ensure success.

In this case you may to choose to use the exhibition opportunity to identify, build relationships with and evaluate new partners, or niche operators who can extend your reach into new strategic areas, or simply strengthen your numbers.

If Channel building is your objective, detailing the number of new sign-ups or company’s for follow up will be crticial in gauging your success.

 

Market Research

Events present the ideal opportunity to gauge your target market’s perception of your business, its products and/or digital services.

Use it to gather data from surveys, test the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and evaluate how well (and where) your marketing budget is being spent.

Information harvested directly from customers can often provide the basis for compelling reports, areas of improvement and opportunities for growth. This in turn adds considerable long-term strategic value, but preparation is key.

It’s important to add that not all of the above will apply to every exhibitor, but a careful consideration of the most relevant points on the checklist will help you to gauge the success of your attendance and enable you to demonstrate considerable ROI post-show.

Information harvested directly from customers can often provide the basis for compelling reports, areas of improvement and opportunities for growth. This in turn adds considerable long-term strategic value, but preparation is key.

 

It’s important to add that not all of the above will apply to every exhibitor, but a careful consideration of the most relevant points on the checklist will help you to gauge the success of your attendance and enable you to demonstrate considerable ROI post-show.

 

Speak to one of our experienced Project Managers today for a free design and cost consultation on your stand, use the contact form or call us on 01527 510 154.

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