Attending a trade show can be expensive, but if you capture enough leads and bring enough prospects into your sales funnel, it is a good investment. You can get a good idea of whether a show will be worth it for your business by figuring the trade show costs compared to the results. Correctly targeting your trade show investments and properly tracking leads with a tradeshow lead capture app ensures that you get the best possible ROI for your efforts.
What do Trade Shows Cost?
Looking at the whole picture helps you accurately budget for the show; your costs are more than just the booth. Incorporating all possible costs, from the actual physical set up to your show services and even the cost of promotional items and transportation. You’ll have to make these expenditures either way, but knowing what to expect allows you to properly plan and anticipate all your costs. Some common trade show expenses include:
- Display costs, including your actual booth, furniture, flooring, graphics and more
- Setup expenses, from electrical and Wi-Fi setup to cleaning and even the handling of your packaged booth.
- Travel and shipping, getting your employees, samples, and other items to the actual physical location
- Promotional items and giveaways
- Intangible costs, including your planning time and the time you’ll take away from other projects and efforts to focus on the show
Your total costs will depend on the size and makeup of your booth; the industry average is between $100 and $150 per square foot. Your other costs will be determined by the booth as well; it costs more to ship a 40’ x 40’ display that it does to ship a booth half that size. This free budgeting spreadsheet can help you figure out your anticipated costs for an upcoming show and allow you to decide if you want to participate.
Are Trade Shows Worth It?
Determine the value of an event by figuring out how much you’ve spent on that show and comparing it to the sales and leads that you generated. Lead generation might be a better metric if you have a long sales cycle; the method used will depend on your business and sales model. An easy to use iPad lead capture app can help you get a good idea of how well the event performed for you and if you want to attend again.
The number of leads you capture will have a direct impact on your success and the ROI you experience for each event. Simply attracting attention and gathering names or cards isn’t enough; you need to count your properly captured and qualified leads to determine your real level of success. Surveys and an offline lead capture app can help you properly gather leads and ensure that you get all of the information you need to follow up later.
Thinking of a show as an investment and coming up with a strategy to make the most of the leads you gather allows you to make the best possible decision about participating. If you’re already committed to a show, then an offline lead capture app allows you to truly gather useful, qualified leads and ensures that you get the best possible ROI on your investment.
Also published on Medium.