It’s amazing how fast time moves. 2017 already? We all know we should conduct a thorough inventory of the successes and failures of our trade show program in 2016. What went well? What did not? How do we improve? As busy as we are, it is worth the time to evaluate the areas where you hit a home run as well as those components that need to be tweaked, vastly modified or jettisoned completely.
How do you best evaluate your 2016 trade show program and results?
According to Apple Rock CEO Eric Burg, trade show ROI should generate at minimum a 3 to 1 return within 13 months. This takes into account all of the positive marketing and lead generation that occurred during the event that can be tracked directly to a sale. Take the time to calculate the cost per lead from each show. The numbers can be shocking.
Dig deep and be objective. How did you really do in 2016? Did you meet your marketing, lead-generating and 3 to 1 return on investment goals? An honest self-assessment will certainly help identify effective, and not so effective budget spends. It should also expose those areas where you may need some expert help. Ready for some soul-searching?
Put aside some quality time and ask yourself these tough trade show program questions:
- Is our display outdated, tired looking or nearing “retirement age”?
- Does our display accurately represent the company and brand?
- Does the display attract attention and draw people in?
- Does our display work for multiple shows in different venues/convention halls/environments?
- What components, functions or capabilities do I wish we could implement into our display?
- Did my labor team perform pre, during and post event? Was there a way to make everyone accountable?
- Did our display or booth arrive at each event undamaged and with all of the necessary components?
- Did I encounter unexpected costs that affected the bottom line?
- Did shipping and drayage costs stay within the estimated budget?
- Did we have enough setup and show staff? Too much staff?
- Did our booth staff perform? Were they able to represent, discuss, promote, generate leads and sell during the events?
- Do we have technology to capture leads in real time?
- After the show, are we able to easily follow up with the leads and contacts generated?
- Do we have an effective system to track leads, touches and sales?
- Am I taking advantage of new digital technologies available for trade shows?
- Did these trade show efforts generate solid, qualified leads that led to sales?
- And most importantly, did the ROI from each show justify the cost and effort it took to execute?
Once you have answered these questions thoughtfully and honestly, consider speaking with an Apple Rock expert to address the areas that need attention. No one person can possibly handle all aspects of a large trade show program. We understand that many trade show professionals are operating with an extremely small staff (maybe just you!).
We strive to stay on top and ahead of trade show trends, new technology, marketing techniques, show services and production efficiencies to build custom displays that accomplish your goals. Let our team handle the difficult and time-consuming aspects of shows, leaving you the time to focus on networking, leads and sales.
Regardless of show success you can always improve your display presence, usability, and lead-generating capabilities while mitigating ownership cost. There are numerous ways to maximize your current display without breaking the bank:
- Deft combinations of rental, lease and purchase displays
- Repurposing of existing displays into new and more functional designs
- Building a “core” display suitable for smaller footprints
- Utilizing rental options to expand your core booth for larger events or use with private and corporate events
- Hire Apple Rock show services to professionally handle all aspects of your trade show logistics
Apple Rock’s pro show services, innovative designers and master builders will help you find even greater trade show success. Schedule a free Trade Show Program Consultation to go over your resolution list and make 2017 your best year yet.