Top tips for increasing your ROI from trade shows

Coming home from an exhibition with a healthy ROI is a fantastic feeling. After all that careful planning, organising and let’s be honest – fretting, it’s a relief to know that you’ve made more money than you’ve spent.

Once you’ve taken the plunge to exhibit a few times, you’ll probably want to start refining your strategy to increase your ROI. Here are a few tips to help you do that:

1. Set your goals.

Although many exhibitors will go to a trade show with a goal in mind such as to generate leads and sales, as to what this looks like in numbers and figures may not be well known. Work out how much ROI you’re after and what this means in terms of leads needed to help your sales team to strive toward these goals.

2. Choose the right event.

Not all events were created equal and each exhibition will cost a different amount with a specific audience and an expected footfall. It’s likely that a number of events will match your criteria for target audience, so make sure that you know the key differences between them using your knowledge from previous shows as well as information such as cost.

It’s worth bearing in mind that all outgoing costs will affect your take home ROI such as travel and overnight accommodation so there’s a lot to consider when you’re trying to choose the right event for your business.

3. Choose lasting displays.

Thinking of each exhibition you attend as part of a bigger, ongoing picture can really help your ROI. Choose designs on your displays that can be used at multiple events such as a simple branded banner. This will mean that you can reuse your displays, reducing your overheads and increasing your ROI.

In order to reuse your displays, you’ll want to look for a supplier that can provide high quality stands on a budget such as Express Exhibition Displays. When you are ready to replace your design, you could choose options such as replacing your graphics which is much cheaper than replacing the whole display, but is subject to the type of display you have purchased.

4. Rank your leads.

At the event, it’s a good strategy to rank the leads that you take on the day in priority for following up. Those ranked as A are usually top priority either due to having a potential high spend or quick turnaround. B second priority and so on. The method that you choose to adopt is completely up to you – as long as it makes sense to you as a business and helps to prioritise your workload when you get back to the office for follow up is all that matters.

Just make sure that you wait until the potential customer has left before you add their ranking as it can be off-putting from a customer point of view to know that the business sees you as a C priority!

5. Follow up your leads FAST

Time is of the essence after an exhibition to follow up on your leads. The best case scenario is that you have an email waiting to be sent after the event that only needs data adding to send off to thank people for visiting the stand and to say when you’ll be in touch.

For telephone follow up, add this as a priority for your sales team as soon as they’re back in the office.

The quicker you can follow up on the leads – the more chance that you get in there first before your competitors.