Each year, companies have a limited amount of time and money that they can spend on trade shows. By calculating ROI metrics for each trade show, businesses can figure out the events that bring them the best return on their investment. While many companies target larger events, small trade shows can be excellent opportunities for finding new customers. The main goal is to look for the number of leads, connections and customers that come from a specific event. Afterward, companies can calculate the amount that each lead or sale cost them to obtain.
1. Use a CRM Tool
To make sure that your connections are paying off, use CRM software to track the leads that you get. You can create an event tag in Salesforce to aggregate the leads that you have attained. This allows you to track the lead’s source and update the connection over time. By using this software, you can calculate how much each customer is worth and the total revenue that you receive from each trade show.
2. Figure Out Your Lifetime Customer Value
Before you can figure out if a trade show is profitable, you have to figure out your lifetime customer value (LCV). This figure is one of the most important ways to learn how much a new lead will earn over time. For the LCV to be accurate, it takes several trade shows to learn how much the average customer will bring in. A few weeks after each trade show, you can run the numbers to see if the preliminary results are worth it.
3. Determine the Average Cost Per Lead
During the trade show, track the number of leads that you have achieved. At the end, you will divide the total cost of the trade show by the number of leads that were generated. If the trade show cost $10,000 and you had $1,000 leads, then your average cost per lead would be $10. Obviously, you will want to focus on the trade shows that have a low average cost per lead so that you can maximize your budget.
4. Look at Your Social Media Reach
While some people will reach out during the trade show, many clients will wait until later to connect on social media. Social media reach is a useful metric that can help you to see how engaged your clients are. You can look at conversion rates, acquisition and engagement to see if you are using your time wisely at trade shows. Before the trade show, write down the number of followers that you have on each social media website. Afterward, you can look at how much this number increased. While some of the increase may have just been from other clients, this number will still give you a general idea of how successful your trade show was.
5. Calculate Website Traffic
For your company to succeed, you need to have a useful, easy-to-navigate website. Once your website has been developed, customers can use it to find out more information about your business. Programs like Google Analytics can help you analyze the traffic to your website to see how many new viewers were added during and after the trade show.
To do this, average out the number of daily visitors to your website for the week or two prior to the show. Track the number of websites during the show and for the first few days afterward. Use this second number to create an average of the website visitors during the show. The difference between these two numbers is the amount of additional traffic that you received from the trade show. Both direct traffic and organic searches should increase following the trade show. If these numbers do not increase, you either need to change events or adjust your marketing strategy at the trade show.
6. Calculate New Leads
The main goal of any marketing event is to get new leads. Your trade show should raise brand awareness, generate leads and obtain new sales. To monitor new leads, you can create a tracking URL that is associated with the trade show. This will help you to track the new visitors that check out your website due to the trade show. By looking at this metric, you can nurture new leads and calculate the benefits of attending the show.
7. Look at Incremental Business from Current Clients
While new leads are important, do not forget to consider your old leads. Using closed loop marketing, you can look at the number of leads that become customers. You will also want to use ROI metrics to look at the number of existing clients who returned to your company for a new purchase. A trade show is excellent for finding new clients, but it can also be used to bring old clients back into the fold.
8. Count Your Demonstrations
During the trade show, you should track the number of demonstrations that you gave. This can help you figure out the number of people interested in your product and how successful your event was. During the demonstration, pay attention to the number of people who listen or interact with your presentation. You can also use this number to spot areas where you can improve. If people wander off at the same time in the demonstration, then you know immediately to improve that particular aspect of the presentation.
9. Practice Social Listening
Hashtags are one of the ways that social marketing can help your ROI metrics. If you have not created a hashtag for your event, you should do it before the next trade show. A hashtag can help you track the number of people talking about your demonstration, and it can provide insights into the ways that you can optimize your events later on. A social listening dashboard can help you see the quotes, comments and questions posted by your viewers. In addition, this technique can be used as an informal customer feedback survey to help your company improve. Programs like Mention, Google Alerts and Hootsuite can help you to track all of the times your hashtag has been used across the Web.
By tracking your trade show ROI, you can figure out how useful a specific trade show is for your business. You can figure out the average cost per lead, your lead conversion rate and the number of people engaged in your demonstrations. With this information, you can choose the trade shows with the best ROI and adjust your marketing approach.
Do you use other metrics to track your trade show success? Share them with us in the comments!