Like the world’s great mysteries, unlocking the secret to why exhibiting at a trade show is such an important part of the marketing mix is no easy task. We know that there is tremendous value in brand experience. But most trade show booth managers are strapped for time, overloaded, and often wearing many hats. Figuring out an exhibit measurement plan is not high on the priority list.
But it should be.
Being able to accurately point to metrics that prove the value of what you do can help you defend or grow your exhibiting budget, increase internal support, and show positive impact on your organization’s overall business goals. And here’s the good news: getting started with exhibit measurement doesn’t have to be difficult. Use this checklist to tap into many resources you probably already have, so you can quickly and easily build the trade show booth measurement report of your dreams.
Start with Strategy
Have you clearly defined your goals and objectives for your exhibit? Are you exhibiting at multiple shows? How much does your strategy change from show to show? How do your exhibit goals ladder up to your overall marketing objectives? Once you have your end goal in mind (increase sales, raise brand awareness, etc.), you can begin to develop a measurement plan.
If you are exhibiting across multiple shows, it’s important to have a solid and consistent measurement protocol — even if your goals change. This can help normalize your data when you examine it across your entire portfolio, and will provide guidance as to which events performed the best for you.
Determine your ROI
Consider the cost of your trade show booth or sponsorship and the financial goals you have in mind. How many qualified leads will you need to turn into sales to ultimately justify your exhibit space and expenditures?
Get Clarity on Your Objectives
What are the key objectives of your organization? Most organizations have goals that go beyond financial and include things like brand awareness, new customer contact, market research, and more.
Hone in on the Details
With your show strategy clearly in your crosshairs, determine the specific ways you will demonstrate impact: number of leads, shortened time to close on a deal, increased social media mentions, etc. Be as specific as possible and seek to gain consensus among the members of your team.
Tap into Technology
Consider all the ways technology can help you with your exhibit measurement goals on site. Badge scanners and lead management only scratch the surface. Do you have a digital display? Can you track attendee interest? Find out from the show organizer if it is possible to gain access to mobile app data specific to your exhibit. Read our article for all the ways technology can help measure the impact of an event or exhibit.
Collect and Analyze
After the show, gather the data from your varied sources so you can manage and analyze it. Start with simple, flexible tools like Excel, Numbers, or Google Sheets, but also investigate custom tools with specialized features that can help you paint the bigger picture with a little more clarity.
With these simple steps in mind, you will be on your way to mastering the art and science of exhibit measurement.