How to See Results from Your Trade Show Participation Quickly


After taking part in a trade show, many people want to calculate the ROI they have received from participating. But if you have a long sales cycle, you may not know how much sales you have generated from the trade show for months, even years. This is assuming you are able to access the sales data. So here are a few things that can be measured during the show and after it. These will not only help you justify the program, but also improve it for the next time.

Qualify the leads you receive from the show

After the show, you might eagerly count the number of leads you receive. For instance, ABC show brought 100 leads, XYZ show brought 150 leads. Raw leads are a good starting point, but why not take it one step ahead. You can train your staff to rate each lead that they receive for quality. Here is an example.

  • ‘A’ leads- Has budget, needs your goods or services, has the authority to sanction order and will shortly purchase.
  • ‘B leads’- Has the authority to sanction order and will have an order in the future. But does not have an approved budget yet. It may also be that he has a need, but no budget or authority.
  • ‘C leads’- Has the authority, but no budget or need.

You can compare the number of A and B leads that you have received. Like this, you can judge the returns on each show better. You can also determine which show you can expand in and which show you have to cut back. This is only important, when the main goal is to generate leads.

Count the number of leads each staffer brings in

If you think you know who your best staffers are, revisit your thoughts again. Just because a staff member is friendly and is able to speak to anyone, it does not mean that the person is very good at his job. You will be busy running the show and you may not have time to see whether they are just chatting with your other staff members or whether they are only trying to please you. You should be seeing, if they are able to convert walk-ins into leads, which they may not be able to do, if they do not know enough about your products or the the clients’ needs.

You can determine who your best staff members are by counting the number of leads they bring in every day. Make space on your lead cards for your staffers to put their name next to the leads they bring in. make sure that they are putting their names or initials there.

Promotions can generate more leads

Visitors at a trade show will not attend all the exhibits. It is usually because there are so many exhibitors and not enough time. In such a scenario, promotions can be your secret weapon. Promotions can encourage attendees to enter your exhibit and speak to you. But what kind of promotions can you offer.

One exhibitor was giving away a trip to Hawaii. It was a big investment and it took a bite out of their show budget, but it also increased the number of leads the company earned by 60%. 10% of the budget to get 60% more leads sounds like a good bargain, does it not? After all, leads are what you always want from the trade show.