Generating leads is often the primary objective of an exhibit program, but simply measuring the number of leads you bring back to the office means you could be overlooking other important areas of value.
- Leads: quantity is less important when the sales people complain that the leads are not good quality or worse, don’t even bother to follow up on them. Employ the same lead qualification process in your exhibit that sales employs in the field. If you don’t know what that process is, find out. With a consistent ranking system, sales is more likely to act on the leads. And you can also place a value on those leads based on likelihood of conversion and average sales data.
- Cost Avoidance: If you were able to have internal or customer meetings at the trade show that would have otherwise been a separate expense, add up that value. More important, consider how these brand-to-face interactions with prospects and customers have cut steps from the typical sales process. Those steps have a cost and your program may have helped avoid them.
- Exposure: You sent out invitations to visit your exhibit, your staff distributed literature, your exhibit has graphics and maybe your brand appeared elsewhere as part of a sponsorship. All these activities generate brand impressions among a qualified audience and have a value. Calculating the value of these impressions mirrors the methodology used by publications to measure and set the value of advertising placements.
When you add up the potential revenue, costs avoided and exposure value, and divide by your show budget, you can arrive at a more accurate (and impressive) payback ratio for your program.