Be Your Own Trade Show ConsultantOctober 8, 2018
There are many reasons for hiring a trade show consultant, from help with goal setting to powering your execution. The process of developing a marketing and sales event strategy may be daunting and a trade show consultant can offer valuable resources to get you started.
In our recent post, 5 Steps to Achieving Your Best Trade Show Selection Process, we uncovered five strategies for determining the best trade shows for your organization, including developing a scoring matrix to help you assess the value of each event opportunity. In this post, we’d like to share how to use your scoring matrix as a basis for measuring results and making decisions that will impact your annual strategy—in essence, acting as your own trade show consultant.
What to Measure Using a Scoring Matrix
Optimizing your scoring matrix to measure results from each trade show event will uncover an array of valuable data points, such as:
The number of people who stop by the booth and give their contact details in exchange for your offer
The number of first meetings that occur as a result of these opt-ins
The number of proposals that happen as a result of these first meetings
Sales and/or Revenue
The number of sales / total revenue that results from these proposals.
From this data, you will be able to generate information such as revenue per lead, leads per show, and revenue per show. And by going through the process of understanding your buyer persona and developing an offer that corresponds to that persona, you can be confident that your opt-ins will become progressively more qualified prospects. In other words, good preparation = good data = strong results.
You may choose to measure additional data points depending on the particular event you are evaluating, but overall as you begin to map these results across events, you will uncover the relative value of each opportunity. Just like a good trade show consultant, you will produce data to help make informed decisions.
How to Use Your Trade Show Data Strategically
Fully understanding the costs (both time and money) of an event and comparing these costs to your results will directly inform your event selection strategy. Additionally, you will be well positioned to negotiate with event organizers whose events deliver subpar results.
For example, for those who employ a quarterly trade show strategy review, it may be the case that two events per year deliver exceptional performance results, while two deliver results that are subpar. Assuming you want to return to these subpar events in the future, it’s possible to use results data to negotiate reduced costs or increased exposure with the event organizers. Ultimately any adjustment that will increase the value of the event is a win—not just for you, but for the event organizer as well. Most trade show hosts want you to succeed and when presented with data that reflects how their event compares with others, it is in their interest to improve these results. Reliable data has that power.
Course Correct Quarterly
Finally, just as a trade show consultant might support you through a full cycle to ensure their plan’s sustainability, make sure to review your data on a regular basis, refresh it with new inputs, and adjust as needed. Plan for at least 12 months ahead, but course correct quarterly as you incorporate new knowledge. With some industries, we recommend planning as much as 24 months ahead, particularly for speaking opportunities.
Plenty of support is out there if you need it, but at the end of the day, there are times when being your own trade show consultant is just as effective.
MEET (meetroi.com) helps B2B growth companies and pavilion hosts effectively leverage at trade shows and in-person events. MEET’s processes help its clients ramp-up sales quickly and maintain a steady stream of high-quality prospects going forward. Contact Bill Kenney at MEET today for a free trade show participation assessment firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 (860) 573-4821