Most of our clients attend at least one industry tradeshow every year. Tradeshows can be a great way for them to meet new prospects and leads, learn about emerging technology and techniques, and scope out competitors. Identifying and prioritizing these objectives is a major part of preparing for a show.
We work to make sure our clients have the tools they need to achieve their desired tradeshow goals. This can include everything from an eye-catching booth design to digital and hard-copy promotional materials to helping ensure that booth staff are trained in best practices. While our Tradeshow Marketing Guide for Technical Companies includes detailed tips for preparing for a tradeshow, our latest download offers a basic template for establishing and measuring your tradeshow success. The Tradeshow Trip Tracker includes the following fields:
Goal(s) of trip
Ex: Number of leads, competitive product intel, etc.
Tradeshows are a big investment, so having a clear picture of why you're there is essential. Oftentimes we hear goals from customers that are fairly vague, such as increasing awareness. Sure, tradeshows do present an opportunity to "get your name out there," but how do you know if it's working? The best goals, HubSpot says, are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timebound. In other words, your goal should be something you can put a number to and aim to achieve in a designated amount of time. In our experience with clients, the most commonly forgotten element is time. If your chosen goal is total leads, your timeframe is simply the duration of the show; but if it's something like completed sales after the show, you'll need to set your own deadline to ensure your efforts stay on track.
When you'll be at the show.
Total cost (est.)
This will include:
- Travel costs
- Show registration and exhibitor fees
- Booth shipping
- Promotional materials such as brochures, pens
- Your employees' time
Contest or other draw?
New product announcement / demo?
Email campaign and landing page?
This section will include any PR and promotional activities to be completed before, during, and even after the show. Email campaigns will typically include an initial, reminder, and follow-up/thank you email. And don't forget social media -- using the show hashtag (#), of course.
ALL contacts collected
All contacts minus those who are at first glance not prospects (ex: students, potential partners, etc.)
Meetings with existing customers?
Not everyone you meet at a tradeshow has to be a potential customer. Shows are a great place to meet with current customers or introduce yourself to reporters/reps from industry publications. You can also reserve some time to expand your knowlege by attending a demo or paper presentation.
After the show, it's time to get started on any follow-up strategies you have in place for your leads. It's also useful to meet with your team and discuss what worked and what didn't and gather some ideas for improvement.
Changes needed for next trip/year
Suggested changes to booth setup?
Inventory to reorder? Brochures? Repairs to signage?
Prep work in advance of next show?
Changes can include everything from booth setup to who you'll send to the next show and what products to exhibit. You should consider your goals and results to help make these decisions.
Stay on top of your tradeshow goals and results with our simple, 1-page Tradeshow Trip Tracker.