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Why You Should Measure Pre-ROI

In the trade show business, it’s all about measuring ROI, which is critical to any program.  But what about your Pre-ROI?

Why you should measure pre- ROI

We all love to make a sale at the show or the few days after, but in many industries that just isn’t possible.  The ROI comes later, often many months later.

So, knowing if the customers who visited your trade show exhibit left with a positive impression of your company after visiting your booth at the show is important.  You can find out within days if success is likely to come in the form of positive ROI, or if you are dead on arrival…..the phone won’t ring, the website won’t be clicked.

Skyline® has been providing branding materials and services to the trade show industry, as well as doing trade shows ourselves for over 35 years.  We have learned that you need to survey your customer right after the show to find out your “Pre-ROI”.

Consider asking your attendees questions such as:

  • Did you feel that you were treated well or excellent by staffers while at our exhibit?
  • Did you feel you were valued, and that staffers listened to your questions?
  • What were your feelings about (your company) before they came to the show? How about after your exhibit visit?
  • What is the likelihood of working with (your company) in the future, due to the exhibit staff experience?

At the last EXHIBITORLive show this last March in Las Vegas, over half of the Skyline attendees surveyed said they were more likely to work with Skyline® after the exhibit visit than before.  Now that’s a good reason to exhibit at your favorite Trade Show!  And even better news, 60% were not yet Skyline® Clients.

Skyline® aims for 100% satisfaction and we found from the survey that 4% left with a feeling that staffers did not listen to their questions like they expected, so we have room for improvement and will work on that in the next booth staff training cycle.  In fact, we choose our next exhibit staffers based on the Pre-ROI scores that they generate.  It’s not the quantity of leads gathered, it’s the quality of relationships built and measured.

There are always opportunities to learn and improve, and how will you know what to improve upon if you don’t ask? At the very least, reaching out to your customer shows them that their opinion matters- no matter if a sale was made or not.  It has been said that “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” which is of most importance in the industry of face-to- face trade shows.

Do you survey your customer attendees after a show or event?  If not, start! It’s never too late to start measuring your Pre-ROI and build a world class experience at your next exhibit/event.

About the Author

Jon Althoff was the Senior Director of Global Marketing for Skyline Exhibits.

One response to “Why You Should Measure Pre-ROI

  1. Great advice Jon!
    Calculating ROI is very complex. Traditionally, the right formula is Net profit / Total investment * 100
    Unfortunately, the Net Profit and Total Investment are figures that are very difficult to get since so many parties and activities are involved.
    At myfairtool we suggest a simplified calculation, making it easier to estimate success, although it shouldn’t be called “ROI”:
    Total event expenses / Gross Revenue * 100.
    Total event expenses means all the money spent to get the event going – booth rental, decoration, marketing, plane tickets, food, shipment, etc.
    Gross revenue encompass all the turnover generated from trade show encounter: existing customers and prospects that placed an order after the event as a result of your meeting should be considered altogether within a period of 6 months.
    Setup a meeting 6 months after the event to crunch these numbers and it will give you a pretty good idea of your event’s result: anything below 100% would mean that you could not even cover your expenses. Your goal should be to go 200% or more.
    You can consider automatic tools as well to achieve this task without having to make it difficult on yourself.

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