How to Relate Objectives, Success and Measurement Around Three Factors that Will Make or Break the ROI on Your Event
In my classes I teach "Three Critical Success Factors" essential for trade show return on investment. These factors provide the template for a compelling set of measures of regarding what is most important and what will surely be of interest to your top management.
The "Three Critical Success Factors" are:
* You must attract enough of the right people to your exhibit or event (i.e. those individuals who can actually benefit your business)
* You must deliver compelling messages that motivate those people to act
* You must obtain actions from those participants that lead directly to profit improvement for your company (either an increase in revenue or reduction in cost)
The shorter, easier to remember version goes like this:
* The right people
* The right messages
* The right actions and results
If you miss any one of the three, you are not likely to justify your investment in the event. It is essential that they be executed somewhat in order. That is why pre-event and post-event activities are at just as important as event execution.
These ROI related success factors were developed from years of working with clients to create a solid bridge between sales and marketing. They are core to our event measurement and return on investment philosophy.
Of course, many other things must also go well for a successful result.
As I mentioned in the beginning, the following factors provide the template for a compelling set of measures of what is most important:
The right people
Determine the show demographics profile and know how many people attending the show fit your target profiles. Identify them to the individual level if the information is available.
Make a forecast of how many targets are there and how many you will see. Track the number of people who come to your exhibit or venue. Develop averages and totals for the program year.
Determine how many visitors are seriously engaged vs. just entering a drawing or making a casual walk-through. (Make counts during the events) Use exit polls or surveys while visitors wait for a presentation for example, to find our who is visiting your stand. Report all of these numbers and the mix of people by type in your show summary.
The right messages
The only way to know if your messages are resonating with customers and prospects is to ask them. Use exit surveys or post- show surveys to determine 1) Can anyone recall, repeat or describe what you were trying to tell them? 2) Does the message they retained have any potential effect on their role or plans? I.e., does the message you conveyed present a solution to problems or an improvement in a process or profitability? Do they believe what you told them? A great open ended question is to simply ask your visitors “What was the most important thing they learned during your visit?” Compare their answers with your communication objectives. Remember, “nothing” is a possible answer.
The right actions and result
What specifically will your visitors do as a result of visiting you? This is the most valuable question of all. If their intent matches with your desired follow-up behavior you are on your way to ROI. Are your visitors more inclined to do business with your company? Do they find your company to be a good fit for their needs? These elements can be determined with questions such as, “Do you plan to make changes (or a purchase) based upon what you learned today?" or “Is it more likely that you will purchase products from us ?”, etc. These metrics are guaranteed to be of interest to the top management of your company.
Determining the number of visitors who actually take a prescribed step at or after your show is the ultimate measure of success. You may even be able to place a potential value upon those people taking that step if the step is one the sales team has defined and therefore knows the probable value associated with it.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Comparing Total Spending for Tradeshows
Using a Cross Industry Benchmark for Cost per Square Foot
Using a Cross Industry Benchmark for Cost per Square Foot
Clients ask us, “How does our spending compare with that of other companies for our tradeshow marketing efforts?” Specifically they want benchmark data for total spending on a typical tradeshow appearance. That includes all activity except staff cost and travel expense (items typically not reflected in the tradeshow budget.)
There are plenty of references found for “spending per square foot” as a comparative index. However, the numbers we see most frequently cited significantly underestimate total spending. Some references we found indicated average total spending (on a cross industry basis) to be around $60 per square foot, including space rental. An often cited number for a "new builds" is ~$150/ sq. ft. Many of you exhibit managers are shaking your heads wondering how can this be true?!
An index of any sort that spans a large number of companies and industries can at best be a rough guideline, but our curiosity was piqued and we decided to run a “cost per square foot” average, based upon actual results from numerous events in our database. These events were managed by companies in several different market segments in the U.S. and elsewhere. The “cost per square foot” index we found may be a useful way to at least ball park how much money you might need to allocate for an upcoming event or get an idea of how your exhibiting cost compares to the spending of others.
The following table provides some real numbers taken from shows that are represented in the sample.
So How Much Do Others Spend?
Based upon these shows plus many more, we estimate the average Cost/ Sq. Ft. benchmark at approx. $150 - $190/ sq. ft.
Cost is defined as all expenses for a tradeshow type event, except employee (staff) cost. Staff cost is time, travel, food and lodging and other expenses they cover from a different budget. The CPSF index includes all activities and tangibles generally found in an actual event budget, including off-floor activities and expenses such as a customer dinner or event.
As a cross reference, I asked our friend Skip Cox at Exhibit Surveys to perform a similar query against their database. Skip found the average spending per square foot, on a cross industry basis, among hundreds more shows, was similar to our estimate, at approximately $170 per square foot.We do not present these numbers as scientific. They do however reflect actual spending to size ratios from hundreds of real exhibit programs.
Background Variables You Should Consider
The average exhibit size reflected in this data is around 400 – 500 square feet, a medium exhibit size. In the table above you will note that some programs were defined as large, where exhibit sizes average 1,000 square feet or more. Some large programs can be managed at a lower cost per square foot compared to smaller ones due to economies of scale. Other factors you should consider when reviewing this data are 1) the average reflects excellent, good, fair and poor cost management by a number of different companies, 2) the cost for space rental varies widely by show and industry, 3) the degree of off-floor or off-site activities included in the total cost numbers varies by industry and company type, and 4) these averages reflect some programs with a number of international events where cost is almost always 20 – 50% higher. (The data represents results from 2007 and 2008 shows.)
Use this information as a general idea of what others are spending. Developing and tracking your own cost indices will provide completely reliable data about your own program and help you make fact based decisions in the future.
Please call or message me with questions. Constellation Communication Corp. http://constellationcc.com/ +1.770.391.0015
Posted by Ed Jones at 8:04 AM