Much thought and consideration goes into selecting a trade show but often there is little attention given to how to measure ROI. How do you know whether a show was a worthwhile investment?

There are three common ways that companies measure ROI that do not maximize the opportunities events offer for reaching a target audience.

  1. Subjectively measuring how busy the exhibit seems to be. If a booth was busy, then it is viewed as a success.
  2. The number of scanned badges (leads) that the booth staff retrieves.
  3. Taking the total cost of exhibiting and dividing it by the number of attendees to determine the cost per attendee. If the cost per attendee is within a reasonable range, then it was a worthwhile investment.

In all three of these approaches, there is little thought given to the quality of the attendee or how to turn prospects into sales.

It is true that brand impression offers an immeasurable value, and that it should be taken into account when determining a program’s overall success. But, having reliable post-show metrics in hand not only provides a show’s value, it proves the value of the trade show manager.

A Better Idea!

To have a truly successful program, a strategically designed lead generation program is key. Having a lead generation team that engages with each attendee is never ill-received, and most attendees are willing to answer a couple of questions regardless of whether or not they are interested in the product. Answering those questions can even be incentivized. Working with the sales team to determine what information they look for in a quality lead will help shape the questions asked of attendees.  A great survey that branches based on answers can even help your team guide attendees to the area of the booth or staff member most suited to help them find the information they need.  At the end of the show, your sales team has the qualified information they need to follow-up with hot leads and make sales.

TPG Brand Ambassador captures a lead, using a custom lead retrieval app.

TPG Brand Ambassador captures a lead, using a custom lead retrieval app.

The Benefit of a Lead Generation Program in Determining ROI

The sales team should have a good idea of the percentage of qualified leads that typically convert to sales along with the average sale size.  With a couple of quick calculations, it is easy to determine the dollar amount of potential business the trade show brought to the sales team.  Looking at the numbers this way takes into account the big picture of the organization and helps to more accurately measure the success of the program.

The cost of a lead generation program is minimal compared to the value it provides. TPG has a cost-effective, customized lead generation solution whether you are doing one event or one hundred. We’d love to help you strategize for your next event.

Christina Piedlow, TPG Executive Director

Christina Piedlow, TPG Executive Director