Trade shows are an important spend in any marketer’s budget. The Center for Exhibition Industry Research found the average company puts more than 30% of their total marketing budget into events and exhibits. This results in more than $24 billion in spending on trade shows each year in the U.S. Finding a way to measure the success of a trade show is key, but only 30% of exhibitors actually have established goals for their events. The first step in setting goals for trade shows is determining what metrics to measure.
Metrics clearly indicate the direction in which a company is moving. They give a more structured approach toward creating actionable insights that can be used to align strategy with sales objectives and maximize event ROI. The two types of metrics to look at are hard metrics and soft metrics. Hard metrics are often quantitative, provide strong indicators, and lead to action. Soft metrics are more qualitative, focusing on engagement and awareness. Hard metrics are typically a better gauge of performance.
A Meeting Automation Platform (MAP)can aid you in your attempt to measure the ROI of an event. A MAP will allow you to track several metrics in order to calculate the ROI. Most importantly, it gives you a platform to store all the data of your event. Determining the ROI of a trade show starts by measuring the right things in your MAP. Below are a few of the key metrics to keep an eye out for at your next trade show.
Frequency of B2B Meetings
More and more strategic B2B meetings at events are being pre-scheduled because a trade show can be full of attendees that do not target customers. The sales team needs to schedule a certain number of customer meetings at events in order for them to advance their sales deals. The number of meetings accepted versus those rejected can share how effective the strategy is in targeting prospects. The number of quality meetings scheduled determines the number of engagements that are brought in and ultimately converted to business outcomes.
In addition to customers, meetings with partners, press, and analysts are other examples of strategic meetings with the potential to make a business impact.
Effective Use of Meeting Rooms
At an event, you can have meeting rooms that are not used effectively. One of the key benefits of a MAP is it allows you to efficiently track room usage. You are wasting money if you are over renting rooms. Not only can you determine the value of your money spent at the show in a year, but you can also see where you can cut costs next year.
Time Spent in Meetings
An average B2B meeting could last anywhere from 30 minutes to more than 2 hours. Time is very valuable to both the requestor and an event attendee. Looking at the time spent in meetings by the right people (subject matter experts, executives allow you to see if whether the business is maximizing the value of the investment at trade shows and conferences.
The number of opportunities that result in actual sales is the win rate. Taking a deeper look at the win rate allows you to see the success the business is having at each stage of the sales cycle, and better place them throughout the cycle and the impact of events in closing deals.
Arguably the most important metric from a trade show is the influenced revenue. The question to answer is how much revenue is being impacted as a result of the show. Utilizing a CRM allows a prospect to be tracked throughout the sales pipeline. Once a deal is closed with a prospect, you can see the amount of revenue generated and tie it back to the trade show where you met the new customer.
But it is important to track and analyze the meetings at events by revenue impact. This is when a MAP that can also integrate with CRM software like Salesforce becomes crucial to measuring ROI.
The final outcome is the only thing that matters after a trade show. After all, it is an investment and you want to see how much revenue is going to be brought in by that investment. Not only can these metrics help to establish the ROI, but they can also lead to more marketing spend for the next year. With a MAP in place and these metrics in mind, marketers can have an eye on the big picture and develop effective campaigns surrounding their next trade show.