Despite the continuous growth of the trade show industry, the number of exhibitors dropped throughout 2 quarters of 2019.
For event organizers, it is crucial to know what exhibitors pay attention to while attending. Understanding exhibitors’ goals and expectations from trade shows bring a clear picture of how to promote and improve an event.
- How trade shows are evaluated?
- What are good KPIs to use for event attendance?
- What are the characteristics of a good trade show?
- Why companies attend trade shows?
The major 84% of marketing specialists use performance metrics while attending trade shows to evaluate the outcome. What they are interested in measuring is circling mainly around lead generation and revenue.
The top metrics appear to be a comparison of sales revenue to the cost of exhibiting. There are different ways of estimating these numbers, as an example can be used as a correlation between the number of leads, close rate and value of each contract. It is important to highlight that not only does the number of leads play a role to attendees but also the conversion rate. Including this parameter into perspective provides a better understanding of an event organizer’s mission.
Other numbers that exhibitors are interested in are tied to saving money through attending trade shows. By using face-to-face meetings, companies expect to lower their spending on making sales and filling in their database of prospects. Those would be the amount that a company typically spends on marketing through calls, meetings, and list-rental fees for getting the same outcome as from the show.
One of the key purposes of industry events is to create a brand portrait and become more noticeable. Furthermore, some marketers recommend estimating the trade show’s impact on company impressions and promotions by counting and comparing the number of people each of the marketing channels reached. For trade show promotion, this ties up with their booth attendance and total impressions, including offline and online.
During event promotion, exhibitors are willing to see data on the show performance. This would be more convincing than blank promotional materials. But what KPI should you measure and present to the prospects?
The geography of attendees is an important metric that exhibitors are interested in.
Data on social media engagement can give exhibitors an idea of how perspective is participation in a trade show. If other exhibitors and attendees seem active and involved in an event, it ultimately becomes more worthy to join.
Attendance rate and a number of returning visitors are some of the crucial KPIs to monitor and use in advertising. Additionally, it is worth measuring the spendings of attendees and keeping an eye on the top players in this list.
Aside from the metrics exhibitors use to judge trade shows, there are other criteria that play a significant role. They are especially important for first-time exhibiting companies as they don’t have own past experience to analyze.
The size of the trade show is a strong characteristic. However, this time bigger isn’t always better - newer businesses have more chances to get noticed on smaller events. This gives you a better idea of the target exhibitors.
Affordability - costs of booth space, electronics, participation, and hotels determine who can attend the show and how effective it would be compared to the outcome.
Booth space and floor planning can be a decision making factor when a company selects between several events. Businesses want to get enough space for displaying their products as well as nice spots on the floor. Good location and venue, as well as floor planning with exhibitors in mind, will be a huge advantage of a trade show.
Broad media relations and event coverage make trade show more attractive to potential companies. Promotion through media outlets, social media, local marketing - everything that gathers enough attendees will help to subdue exhibitors.
Does your event give exhibitors promotion chances during the show? Creating workshops, inviting speakers and, providing quality advertising opportunities would be extra points for a trade show.
Providing better tools and practices for trade show exhibitors and attendees is also an important characteristic. As an organizer, you can explore many options from having catalogs, an event's app and on out to a virtual trade show.
Motivations of businesses that join events are an important shaping factor for trade show organizers. Insights show that during 2019, Top-3 marketing objectives were:
- Creating brand awareness;
- Promotion of products;
- Marketing targeting specific sectors.
Aside from these goals, companies are willing to reinforce a relationship with their current customers through face-to-face meetings on events, gather new leads and create new business contacts with the prospects.
Other common objectives are circled around networking and exploring the market to stay in touch with the industry.
In conclusion, for trade show organizers, it should be a priority to plan events with exhibitors and attendees in mind. When they succeed, the event succeeds as well, gaining awareness and popularity among businesses.