Trade show marketing is a gold mine for business growth when used right.
It gives you the opportunity to meet your competitors, stakeholders, and clients all in one place.
But when it comes to pitching your trade show idea and justifying a bigger investment to your team, you need to have hard data and compelling arguments to back up your case.
So, how exactly do you measure how effective your trade show marketing efforts are?
You need a system in place that allows you to track only valuable metrics so you can focus on those that give the most relevant data and insight into what you’re doing right and where you can improve.
We’re not just talking superficial metrics like attendance but rather conversion rate, media coverage, and the quality of customer engagement and of the new leads you gain after the event.
If this isn’t familiar territory for you, don’t worry – you’re not alone. As many as 20% of marketers say that they don’t have a clear understanding of how they should be tracking their trade show ROI.
This article is meant to show you everything you need to know about evaluating your trade show success.
We’ll be taking a look at the most powerful metrics you can keep your eye on to see why certain events don’t do well while other high-value trade shows make all the difference for your bottom line.
6 key-metrics every event marketer needs to know
To maximize your trade show ROI, you need a clear picture of what needs improvement and what requires only a bit of maintenance to keep driving results. It’s crucial that you see exactly where you’re losing engagement and clients so you can refine your strategy for upcoming events.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. – Peter Drucker
Without key metrics to use, you’ll never be in the loop regarding how your trade show performed.
So, let’s take a look at the most valuable metrics you should be using to track your trade show’s progress. 👇
Here are 6 major ones you need to work with:
1. Social media reach: how many leads have you influenced through different social channels? Steer clear of vanity metrics here and instead focus on markers like conversion rate, engagement, and acquiring clients, email contacts or blog subscribers.
- Finding out which platform has the most activity post-event can also give you useful insight into where your audience spends most of their time online so you know where you can reach them when you’ve got a new marketing campaign lined up.
2. Close rate percentage: how many of your trade show leads result in a closed deal? If you’re not hitting targets or your sales numbers aren’t adding up, then the issue isn’t that you don’t have a wide enough reach but rather you don’t know how to successfully engage your audience.
3. Web traffic: this is a simple yet powerful metric that can let you know if the events you’re currently attending aren’t worth the investment. So take a look at how your organic traffic varies before and after the trade show. Your aim should be to increase visitors, dwell time, and ideally the quality of engagement after every event.
4. New leads acquired: your goal should not only be to expand your leads database but also to boost the quality of the leads you do engage. Aside from tracking how the event impacted your brand awareness, you’ll want to use this data to look into how good of a fit your new leads are for your company and the product or service you offer.
5. The average value of a sale: you need to be able to quantify the level of interest that prospects show in your brand or for different products. This allows you to then segment your audience and know where each prospect is on the marketing funnel so you can tailor a different approach where needed.
6. Media mentions: coverage or attention from the press is useful when you’re trying to position yourself as a leader among competitors and gain more visibility in your industry.
Now that we know which metrics matter most, let’s see exactly how we can use them to track our trade show progress and business growth.
Choosing the right tools to measure tradeshow success
When looking for tools to help you measure how well your event did, you have a lot of options on the market.
So it’s important to know what you’re looking for.
There are 3 key elements you should prioritize: accuracy, ease of use, and speed.
This means that you should be looking for apps, tools or resources that are easy to use and integrate with your current system and that will provide you with accurate hard data that allows you to gain valuable insight into your tradeshow’s performance.
Here are some tools and apps you might find useful:
- Lead capture apps
- Web analytics tools like Google Analytics, Webalizer, Alexa or Moz
- Spreadsheets or evaluation templates
- Tools for tracking email open rates like Yesware
Interested in learning more about improving your tradeshow conversion rates? Feel free to check out some of the other posts on our blog and learn all about how you can optimize your event marketing strategy to boost sales and leads. 😉