How Do You Gauge the Success of a Trade Show?
As things settle down again after the madness of Toy Fair last week, it would be beneficial to look back and evaluate how “successful” the show was for you. As with many things in life, there are a number of criteria to consider when judging the show’s impact on your business.
On my flight home from NYC someone asked me if Toy Fair 2015 had been a good show for me. I reflected on it for a moment and responded that yes, it had, in fact, been a great show. There are many things to keep in mind when determining if a trade show was a success and I thought it might be useful to outline some of them in this week’s post.
So here we go:
1. Did you maximize your time? Trade shows only last so many days. And there are usually LOTS of things to see. Did you get to visit as many showrooms as you wanted? Did you schedule as many meetings as you had initially hoped? I generally set meetings on the half hour and run like mad between them. This way, I get to see as much as possible while still having enough time to see what’s new and exciting.
2. Did you get to meet with the people you most wanted to see? Trade shows like Toy Fair require a great deal of planning. I usually make a list of the target companies based on my current conversations and objectives. From there, I reach out to them systematically to schedule appointments. One thing I have learned over the years is that while some schedule juggling does occur, there is generally time to squeeze in lots of appointments.
3. Were your meetings productive? Did you start your meetings with an objective in mind? If so, chances are better that those objectives were met. For some of my meetings, we were sharing new concepts. At others, we were gathering information from the potential business partner. In each case, if there was paperwork to be completed, we arrived at the meeting with it completed. And of course, at the end, we always make sure to recap next steps so everyone is on the same page going forward.
4. Did you expand your contact base? Did you meet new people? And if so, is there a chance you could do some business with them? One of the main purposes of a trade show is to broaden your network and seek out new platforms and opportunities. This usually happens when you least expect it – over drinks, in the aisles, at a party. And don’t forget to send out LinkedIn requests to stay connected after the show is over!
5. Did you leave with potential new business opportunities? These opportunities can include new Clients, new business with a previous Client or new business for an existing Client. When planning my show, I actually make a list of target partners for each of my current Clients and then one for myself. The list of targets for Jenerosity Marketing encompasses people with whom I would like to work, new contacts that I have never met in person and some previous Clients with whom I would like to collaborate again. At the end of the day, ideally you will uncover some potential business in all of the aforementioned “buckets.”