Here’s a simple formula for evaluating the success of your trade show booth I recommend after evaluating a method set forth in Steve Miller’s book entitled: How to Get the MOST OUT of TRADE SHOWS.
First compile the number of leads you accumulated at the site of your trade show display.
This is the first step in a three-step process that will easily and effectively measure the success of your trade show exhibit. In this formula you will be measuring a set of quantitative goals at three different times throughout the year: immediately after the show, six months later and again 12 months later (or perhaps directly before you participate in the very same show –approximately one year later). The goals can range from: fundamentally how visitors to your trade show display responded to the offerings you presented; how well you were able to collect data [short form, notes from brief conversation]; how the leads were qualified and how the leads were followed-up; to mention a few. Here you can make the list as basic or as complex as you like. Some of the most achievable goals are to set a specific number of sales you want to complete within six months and then in one year (again based on the leads you’ve generated from your trade show booth space).
The next step is to make the initial contact with these leads by making a phone call to each. Keep in mind you want the answer, in whatever form you can receive it, that will validate the goals you’ve set forth. Did they like the offerings you introduced? Are they indeed the decision-makers you need to be pursuing? You know the drill.
For the sake of this article, let’s say you had a large number of visitors to your trade show booth space. And your goal was to convert five percent of them within six months of the trade show. You make the calls and you qualify the leads to the highest degree possible. From here you are matching the prospect’s/suspect’s need(s) and wants with your products and services based on what they might or might not remember from your trade show display. If the prospect needs reinforcement in remembering the offerings made from your trade show display; you obviously need to email or otherwise get samples and sales literature into their hands at the earliest part of the sales curve. AND, whenever possible, reestablish the prospect with a face-to-face sales appointment. Who knows, a demonstration to the prospect’s sales team may be the answer.
Finally, while cultivating these six month leads, you are concentrating on learning the ‘needs dates’ and cyclical sales demands for your products and services for those you’ve identified as twelve month leads. Let’s face it, timing is everything and a one year sales lead time is not at all uncommon. Same drill; can you refresh their memory about your offerings from your trade show booth space? Probably not but it’s a great talking point for their visit to the next trade show that may only be only weeks away. Either way you are demonstrating your professionalism and exerting your aggressiveness to bring them into your camp. You CAN measure sales from your trade show participation. It’s accomplished with your dogged determination from the initial contact made at your trade show exhibit space.
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