USEFUL METRICS TO GAUGE TRADE SHOW SUCCESS

Posted on 09/12/2022 | 4 minutes read

"Sales and leads are great, but brand awareness is important also. Although it may be harder to track how the number of visitors who don't purchase something or enter the funnel will result in sales down the line, tracking the number of visitors to your booth year over year will tell you a lot about how your presentation is improving."

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Trade shows marketing is a great way to increase brand awareness, show off your products, and gain customers. But not every business knows how to effectively track the return on investment they get from participating in trade shows. Did this year's trade show perform well for you, or do you need to look at improving it for next year? Was it worth attending at all? Like nearly every aspect of modern business, tracking key metrics related to your trade show can provide insights to help you answer those questions. In this post, we'll go over six important metrics you can track to measure the success of your trade show design.



METRIC №. 1 

VISITOR ENGAGEMENT


We'll start off with one of the most obvious ways to track trade show and brand activation success: visitor engagement. Although the concept itself is obvious, make sure that you're tracking all the ways in which visitors engage with your booth. If your booth is capable of accepting sales on the spot, then the number of sales you make is clearly an important metric. But sales aren't the only thing that makes visitor engagement valuable. Another highly desirable aspect of visitor engagement is lead generation. If you're able to get potential customers to express enough interest to give you their information and get them at the top of your funnel, you can guess from your typical conversion rate how much money the trade booth was potentially worth.



METRIC №. 2

DEMONSTRATIONS GIVEN


Sales and leads are great, but brand awareness is important also. Although it may be harder to track how the number of visitors who don't purchase something or enter the funnel will result in sales down the line, tracking the number of visitors to your booth year over year will tell you a lot about how your presentation is improving. This is especially true if you count those visitors as a percentage of the total attendees of the show. While it's useful to track the total number of people who stop by your booth, those who take part in demonstrations are going to have a more lasting impression of your brand. If your product impresses them, they're also more likely to make a purchase down the road than someone who merely observes whatever static displays you have on offer.



METRIC №. 3

WEBSITE TRAFFIC


Now it's time to start looking away from the show itself. In the weeks leading up to your trade show appearance, take note of how many visitors come to your website. During the weeks after, look for any spikes in website traffic. During this time, it's a good idea not to change anything else about your marketing efforts. While you can't be 100% sure that any spike in visits around the time of the trade show is all caused by the interest it drives in your product, you can make a safe assumption that many of those visits are a result of the time you spent showing off your product. You can boost this metric by making sure that your website is prominently displayed at your booth, and making its promotion a part of your demonstrations. This serves the additional benefit of keeping people engaged even after the trade show has ended.



METRIC №. 4

SOCIAL MEDIA REACH


Like visitor engagement, social media reach can come in two forms. First, you can measure an uptick in social media engagement before and after the trade show, similar to the way you did for website traffic. Also like website promotion, social media provides you the opportunity to extend engagement past the trade show itself. This time, however, you can extend that engagement to people who didn't attend the trade show. A limited number of in-person attendees can walk up to your exhbit design and watch a presentation, but a much larger number can stream a video of that presentation from all over the world from your social media accounts. So, in addition to spikes in engagement after the trade show, you can count any engagement with content produced as a result of the trade show as a positive impact of the show on your business.



METRIC №. 5

MEDIA EXPOSURE


The best publicity is free publicity. When a trade show comes to town, the media comes with it. During your time at the show, you'll likely be approached by members of the media. Some of them will be small-time bloggers or content creators, but some of them could be big names in your field. Regardless of the size of the outlet, keep track of anyone who publishes a story about your trade show appearance. Each of these pieces of content is a valuable piece of free media that your company received due to its attendance at the show. Be sure to put together a compelling media package to distribute to any members of the media who approach you. This will give them additional context for your story and help you gain some measure of control over how your brand is represented.



METRIC №. 6

CURRENT CUSTOMER VISITS


For nearly all businesses, it's more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one. It's easy to overlook the benefit of current customers visiting your booth, but these are loyal customers who are continuing to engage with your offerings. If you can increase the number of repeat customers who are still actively engaged with your product, you increase your chances of retaining those customers as well. In addition to increasing the chances of retention, repeat customer engagement is a good measure of how satisfied your customers are with your product. If it drops year over year and attendance to the show remains steady or increases, it may be an indication of a customer satisfaction problem.



THE TAKEAWAY


As trade shows continue to be a thing in a world that's increasingly digital is a testament to how effective they are as a marketing platform. But like any form of marketing, you should be tracking metrics that let you know how successful your effort was, and allow you to track your efforts to improve results. Working with Arc & Co. and our proprietary design process on your next trade show design can help ensure that you hit all the right notes to keep these valuable metrics trending in the right direction year after year.



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ABOUT ARC & CO. DESIGN COLLECTIVE


Arc & Co. Design Collective transforms your brand messages into engaging physical brand experiences that increase your brand's perceived value and loyalty with your customers. By utilizing our proprietary FOUR Dimensions Framework™, we strategize, conceptualize, innovate and design experiential packaging and brand activation spaces that will complement your business and keep you ahead of the competition.


Get in touch with us to discover how we can assist in integrating a physical brand experience into your marketing strategy.

TL ; DR NOTES

Trade shows marketing is a great way to increase brand awareness, but not every business knows how to effectively track the return on investment. Here are six important metrics for measuring trade show performance:



Monitor your visitor engagement.



Count how many demonstrations you have given.



Track your website traffic before and after the trade show.



Pay attention to your social media reach on all platforms.



Collect and track all media exposure, whether they are big or small.



Don't forget to monitor your current customer visits.

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