Measuring Success During The Show
Measuring success at a trade show is always important to see not only what worked, but what could use a little more work before the next big event rolls around. It is not, however, something that needs to wait until the event is actually finished. If you want to accurately measure your success while the show is still going on, you'll want to keep a few key things in mind.
Are You Getting a Lot of Foot Traffic?
This one may seem obvious, but there is an important distinction between “are a lot of people stopping by your booth?” and “are you spending time talking to the right people?” The first one is a measurement of volume – how many people are stopping by to see what you're all about. The second one is the time spent with a visitor who is truly looking for solutions. Document the quality of those interactions that you're having while the show is going on.
Another way to measure success is to try thinking about your booth like a website and use the same types of measurements that you would in that situation. What is your booth's “bounce rate” (someone paying you a visit, saying “hi” and leaving right away ultimately doesn't mean much)? How long are they staying? What brought them there? Where did they go in your exhibit? Did they interact with the displays or your staff? Did they share their contact information? Why did they leave? Not only can these performance indicators let you know how you're doing, they also offer important opportunities for course corrections before the show is finished.
How Easy Is It Going to Be to Pack Up and Leave?
At any trade show, you probably bring with you boxes of promotional materials, flyers, pamphlets and “freebies” to give out to people throughout the course of the event. They aren't just marketing collateral – they're also a way to see just how busy you've actually been. If you've estimated your required resources properly, you should see all of these things diminish at a steady flow throughout the event. If you get to the end of the first day and still have roughly about as many free flash drives with your company's logo as you did when you started, it might be time to re-think your approach before the next day begins.
Leads, Leads, Leads
One of the biggest priorities at any trade show is always generating new leads as well as meeting current clients. Because of this, perhaps the best way to measure success while you're still going on is to see how far along you've come towards this goal.
Say you're at a three-day event and one of your goals was to gather contact information for 200 new leads. To meet that requirement, you'd have to collect information on roughly 67 people each day. Did you meet that quota on the first day? Did you make it the first day, but miss the second day? What changed between the two days? What needs to change tomorrow to guarantee you're on the right path? All of this is essential moving forward.
As important is whether you were able to schedule one-on-one meetings with important clients during the show. Remember, they are fair game for your competition, so showing they were engaged with your exhibit is a valuable measure of success.