Trade Show ROI – Part 2 in a series on trade shows and how to make them work for you

Philadelphia Convention Center Photo

Philadelphia Convention Center

This is the second in our Trade Show series reposted from November.

OK, so you have decided that this show is a must attend, now what?

How are you going to assure yourself and /or management that you meet that ROI goal? Exhibiting at a trade show is an investment, no different than any other investment. You would not buy a stock if it would not pay a dividend or have promise of increasing in value, the same holds true for a trade show.

Sometimes, a trade show ROI goal is not monetary. Your goal could be to collect X number of new solid prospects, or leads, or to generate media attention.

Whether your goal is monetary or not it needs to be realistic. To be sure your goal is realistic, you need to look at many factors. Here are just a few:

  • Number of attendees, or media people
  • Length of the show
  • Size of the booth
  • Number of staff in the booth
  • Percentage of people likely to stop and visit
  • Can that number of people be handles by the number of staffers and will they all fit in your booth

Be honest, or this will not work.  If you need to talk to 150 people per day in a 10 x 10 booth, over a six hour time period, that is twenty-five people per hour.  This would be pushing the space limits of your booth and you would need at least two staffers.  However, if you only need 50 people per day over the same amount of time and space, you are fine with the 10 x 10 booth, and two staffers will give you a chance to get a drink or go to the restroom without leaving your booth unattended.  On the other hand if that number is 250 people per day, you could not physically do it in a 10 x 10 booth with only two staffers, no matter how you try if you want more than a fish bowl full of business cards for a raffle.

If the show is one at which you will be writing orders in your booth, set a reasonable goal for the number of orders written and the dollar volume that you are looking to generate.  Keep in mind that order writing is not consistent over a multi day show.  Do you need to have some specials in place in order to reach those goals?  When creating a special remember that it is the profit that you keep at the end not the raw income number.

In future posts we will explore action plans, how to create one and how to make the show a winner for your company.

Are there any other criteria that you use to determine your ROI numbers or goals, feel free to share them.

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