Justifying Your Budget
The most tried and true way to prove that your spend is worth it is through hard numbers and data. There are a few metrics that we suggest tracking for each trade show you attend:

1. Promotional activity will include metrics like gross impressions, CPM and total number of qualified impressions. If you are able to track conversions through your CRM, we absolutely encourage it!

2. Cost reduction: If you conduct any regular business that would save your company cost on travel, be sure to consider it in your budget! Include current customer meetings, interviews, staff and sales training or vendor/partner meetings.

3. Visitor statistics: Lastly, and probably most importantly, you’ll want to track the metrics that are directly tied to sales. This could be the number of visitors committed to a next step, average revenue per show, your profit margin or total revenue of your program.

Tracking the Sales Life Cycle
Trade Show Managers are often in a seat balanced between sales and marketing. In order to ensure that you can optimize the ROI on your trade show program, we encourage you to meet with the sales team prior to your show. Together, you can outline a plan for qualified leads at the show. This may include creating a cadence, nurture campaign or a simple follow up script for a phone call. It is important to set clear expectations of what is needed from each person involved.

Navigating Internal Communications
Your Chief Marketing Officer wants LED screens to line the back wall, the Sales Manager is pushing for more team members in the booth and the Marketing Director wants to know why you are cutting back on the pre-show spend for Google Ads. What’s a Trade Show Manager to do?

Navigating internal communications can be a true challenge. It is important to be transparent through all of your planning and keep everyone in the loop. It is helpful to consider who is a stakeholder in your organization and who is simply expressing on opinion on your program.

In all, it is critical that you set goals and stick to them. Be prepared to defend the reasoning behind why you’ve spent your budget the way that you have. Ultimately, you are the Trade Show Manager – own your program!

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Andrew Swyers

Andrew is a highly-skilled marketing & advertising professional that has been in the trade show and event industry for over 7 years.

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