Justify your trade show expense by measuring resultsIt's no secret that trade shows are a major investment of marketing dollars. So regardless of booth size, you’ll want to justify that investment by measuring results.

Joe Federbush, president, Evolio Marketing and Exhibit Surveys Inc., says developing a solid strategy and determining the outcomes you expect from each show are key to measuring your return on investment.

We caught up with Federbush at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE 2017 Exhibitor Meeting to ask him about his strategies for analyzing trade show results.

What are some effective ways exhibitors can promote their booth before the show?

Calls and emails take the least amount of resources and when done well, can get a good bang for the buck. Sales people should be reaching out to their customers and prospects to set up meetings at the show. A lot of emails can get caught in spam filters and be considered junk mail, so make sure your subject line is spot on and has a strong call-to-action that gets people to want to open it.

How can exhibitors measure their ROI when participating in a trade show?

Depending on your company size and budget, there are several ways you can measure ROI. Something as simple as doing observations of your exhibit, your staff and the activity of people in your booth is a great place to start. From there you can expand into detailed surveys, lead scoring and social media sentiment tracking.

If an exhibitor has a limited budget, what is the one thing they should focus on measuring?

I would measure how many of their targets they are attracting through the quality of their leads because anyone can do that regardless of budget.

Where do you see exhibitors falling short in terms of measurement?

Resources. Marketers are told to do something but not given the time, budget or headcount to do it.  I think it’s most important to first plan what you’re trying to accomplish and how you can get there so you can do it effectively and efficiently.

What amount of an exhibitor’s total budget should be dedicated to measurement?

Typically, three percent is sufficient whether you’re spending $1 million or $10,000. That’s the sweet spot.

What advice would you give to a first-time exhibitor?

Partner with the show organizer. Ask them questions. See what resources or tools they can provide. The one thing that’s probably most underutilized by exhibitors is getting help from the source of the event.

Most importantly, look at exhibiting as an investment in your brand and company, not as an expense in your marketing budget.

Joe Federbush presented the session “Data & ROI – The Value of Measurement” at the August 23 CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE Exhibitor Meeting in Chicago. To view the full presentation, visit the CONEXPO-CON/AGG website.