About the Author:

How to Maximize the ROI of Your Event

If there is a common complaint that Marketing Executives share, it is the expense they incur for events, especially tradeshows, and the poor leads they get from them.  Yet, despite this, many do not take the time to adequately prepare for them or use best practices in obtaining leads.  Listed below are some of the best practices we have seen applied with many of our clients.

  1. Planning, planning, planning.  Don’t wait till one month before the show.  Start planning the year before and get every milestone done right. The first one is getting the best location possible near traffic areas or near eating areas.
  2. Since you are going to incur the cost of the event no matter what you do, think of all the things you can do at the event to ensure a good ROI for the time, money and people invested. Here are a few: Gain awareness; Get leads; Get competitive intelligence; Use the event to set new customer appointments and progress sales with current customers; Meet with the press; Catch up with industry trends; Form new Partners.  Based on these ideas and your own, develop your goals.
  3. Products or Services launched at the event.  This is often the first thing that a company needs to work out. Since a large audience from the target market will be present, events are often used to launch new products. It takes time to develop products.  Get agreement with Product Management and R&D early on about what the most exciting products would be to get industry attention. In many cases, we have seen R&D change their development priorities to help leverage a large show.
  4. Developing the theme of the event.  The theme of an event will affect everything – the demos, the booth graphics, the press releases, etc.  Figure out this theme at least three months out so you have time to innovate on how this theme will carry thru everything you do at the show.  Avoid product or technology themes and think of themes that talk in the business language of your customer.
  5. Be bold with your booth and graphics. You will be competing for attention of prospects walking by and an ugly, poorly designed booth will reflect badly on your company. Have a creative consultant help you pick out a booth design that will make you look fresh and exciting. Then have that consultant simulate some of the graphic approaches that can be implemented in that booth design based on your theme. Use whole walls for graphics, not small posters.
  6. Work hard on your messaging. You should be making compelling statements that capture the interest of your target audience in terms they can understand. Your high level message and your product/demo messages should all reinforce each other.
  7. Think about your pre-show promotion strategy. Emails, social networking, blogging, newsletters, publication programs are all things to consider. Plan them early.
  8. Get sales to assign people to invite prospects and customers to the event. Have someone support them and keep an appointment book.  For a large show, start 2-3 months before.  Most shows can obtain an ROI if the appointments are done right.
  9. Don’t forget videos and speakers. Most people don’t want to walk straight into your booth at first if they don’t know you.  Create a video that is 3 minutes max and explains what you do for them in an exciting way. Use an experienced speaker or promoter to draw people in.  We’ve seen leads increase 5x when these are used properly.
  10. Start working the Press and Partners earlier than later. Towards the end, meet weekly, then on the week before, go over your checklist daily. Assume something will go wrong and try to anticipate what it will be. Create a show guide for everyone at the show and a pre-show training time. Then, aggressively work your plan.  You will be amazed at how much you can improve the ROI of an event with planning and leadership.

Filed Under: Event Blog

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.