How to Boost Your Trade Show Booth ROI with Digital Marketing Strategies

unclejakemedia-blog_How to Boost Your Trade Show Booth ROI with Digital Marketing Strategies

Trade shows provide a fantastic opportunity for businesses to make an impact, connect with potential customers, and generate valuable leads. However, relying solely on traditional methods like collecting business cards in a fishbowl or giving away generic swag items may not yield the desired return on investment (ROI).

In today's digital age, leveraging effective digital marketing strategies can significantly enhance your trade show booth ROI. By optimizing SEO, utilizing social media promotion, implementing email marketing, creating compelling landing pages and lead capture forms, and even automating email follow-up, you can maximize lead capture, nurture prospects, and increase conversions. In this blog post, we'll explore how you can start calculating your trade show booth ROI and ways you can boost lead generation with digital marketing strategies.

Calculating Your Potential Trade Show ROI:

Let’s get right to it. You want to increase your bottom line. To even start determining the ROI of your trade show booth you have to consider the cost of exhibiting, including booth rental, travel expenses, marketing collateral, and staff time.

Then looking into your historical marketing performance data you can define your average lead and customer conversion rates.

With those bits of information, you can estimate the number of leads you need to generate at an event to achieve your revenue goals. Here is a breakdown of how to estimate your booth costs and your booth ROI:

Estimating the Cost of Your Trade Show Booth:

To get a look at your potential trade show ROI, you first need to estimate your trade show budget. A good industry rule of thumb for this is to allocate three times the amount for your exhibit expenses.

For example, if you're getting a 10 ft. by 10 ft. booth space at your next event, the booth cost would be about $15,000. Multiply that by three, and your event budget comes to $45,000.

Here's how we reached this number:

The industry standard rate is on average about $150 per foot of floor space you rent. A 10 ft. by 10 ft. booth space covers 100 square feet: 100 x 150 x 3 = $45,000.

That $45,000 will get spread out among all your needs for the event. Here is an example budget breakdown that EXHIBITOR Magazine suggests:

  • Booth Space: 35% Gives some flexibility for more expensive booth floor spaces.
  • Travel & Lodging: 14% - Expected to decrease with a fall in travel expenses.
  • Show Services: 13% - Covers various on-site services like Wi-Fi, electricity, and plumbing.
  • Exhibit Design & Construction: 11% - Lower costs now due to quality, affordable trade show displays.
  • Shipping: 10% - Consistent cost over the years at 10%.
  • Graphic Design, Production, and Promotion: 10% - Includes design and printing of promotional materials.
  • Other Trade Show Expenses: 7% - Reserved for miscellaneous expenses like lead-gathering and unexpected costs.

With this breakdown, 93% of your budget is accounted for, allowing you to have some leeway for the remaining 7% for unforeseen expenses and contingencies.

Now that we have an estimated event budget, let’s look at calculating your potential ROI through trade show lead generation.

How to Calculate Your Tradeshow Booth ROI:

1) Visitor-to-Lead Conversion Rate:

Knowing your average conversion rate for someone who visits your website (or tradeshow booth) is a helpful benchmark when figuring out what digital marketing tactics could best help you increase your ROI. According to HubSpot:

"A “good” conversion rate falls between 2% to 5%, according to CRO platform company Adoric. However, Hubspot research from 2020 found that only 22% of companies were satisfied with their conversion rates. Email collection forms were the most successful method for converting customers, with a 15% conversion rate in 2020."

2) Lead-to-Customer Conversion Rate:

Now we need to look at your historical digital marketing lead-to-customer conversion rate. According to Databox:

Research concludes that around 10% is a good sales conversion rate with the average conversion rate across industries being 2.5%. But how you calculate your sales conversion rate also plays an essential role here.

Now we are just missing two pieces of information to look at an estimation of trade show lead generation ROI - your revenue per customer and your average number of booth visitors.

3) Average Revenue Per Customer:

For our example purposes let’s just say the average revenue you make on a customer is $10,000.

3) Average Number of Booth Visitors:

A research study conducted by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) says that around 16% to 20% of event attendees will show some kind of interest in your product or service.

So for an average-sized National tradeshow event of about 10,000 attendees, you might expect anywhere from 1,600 to 2,000 interested booth visitors.

Now let’s calculate the number of leads you need to convert for an ROI on your event:

Here is what we know based on our estimations and research:

  • Trade show event cost: $45,000
  • Visitor-to-lead conversion rate: 5%
  • Lead-to-Customer conversion rate: 10%
  • Average revenue per customer: $10,000
  • Average number of booth visitors: 2,000

If you anticipate about 2,000 people visiting or showing interest in your booth at an event then:

2,000 x 5% = 100 people may convert into a lead at your booth. Then…

100 x 10% = 10 new customers you might get from your booth. This means…

10 x $10,000 = you can expect to bring in $100,000 in customer revenue from your booth before the cost of your tradeshow. So ultimately…

$100,000 - $45,000 = $55,000 is your ROI for the tradeshow.

Now this is all using industry average benchmarks, if you are early in your digital marketing journey you may not have any idea what your conversion rates are. And if you do know, perhaps they aren’t meeting the industry average just yet. This is where digital marketing comes into play.

With digital marketing strategies in place, you can increase your lead capture opportunities, nurture prospects effectively, and boost your overall trade show booth ROI.

Here are some digital marketing strategies to consider:

Harnessing the Power of SEO: Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Trade Show Booth

Research and Optimize Keywords on Your Website:

Conduct keyword research to identify relevant terms and phrases related to your industry and offerings. Optimize your website content or a dedicated landing page for your event with these keywords to improve your organic search rankings.

Create Engaging and Informative Content:

Develop high-quality, keyword-rich content such as blog posts, articles, or infographics that provide value to your target audience. Share this content on your website and across social media platforms to attract visitors to your trade show booth.

Optimize Meta Tags and Descriptions:

Craft compelling meta titles and descriptions for your web pages, ensuring they accurately reflect your trade show presence and include relevant keywords. This helps search engines display your content effectively and entices users to click through to your website from Google search.

Leveraging Social Media Promotion: Expand Your Reach and Generate Buzz

Choose the Right Social Media Platforms:

Identify the social media platforms where your target audience is most active and engage with them. Create compelling profiles and regularly post relevant content, including teasers about your trade show participation.

Utilize Hashtags and Engage in Conversations:

Research industry-specific hashtags and incorporate them into your social media posts. Join relevant conversations, engage with followers, and build excitement around your trade show booth.

Run Social Media Contests or Giveaways:

Create social media contests or giveaways to encourage audience engagement and generate buzz. Offer a valuable prize that aligns with your target audience's interests and requires participants to engage with your trade show booth. You might already plan to have a fishbowl prize drawing at your booth so this is an opportunity to share about it on social to reach more event attendees.

Mastering Email Marketing: Nurture Leads and Drive Conversions

Build an Email List:

Utilize your website, social media, and trade show booth to collect email addresses of interested prospects and event attendees. Perhaps you already have a CRM that contains a list of your prospects and marketing contacts.

Segment Your Email List:

Categorize your email list based on factors like industry, interests, or previous interactions with your brand. This segmentation allows for personalized and targeted email campaigns, resulting in higher engagement and conversion rates.

Send Targeted Email Campaigns:

Set up email campaigns to drum up more awareness of your attendance at an event to your existing contact database. You can also plan emails that will nurture leads after they have visited your booth.

Creating Compelling Landing Pages and Lead Capture Forms: Optimize Conversion Rates

Design High-Converting Landing Pages:

Create dedicated landing pages for your trade show booth that highlight the value proposition of your offerings. Ensure the landing pages are visually appealing, mobile-friendly, and contain a clear and enticing call-to-action.

Streamline Lead Capture Forms:

Keep lead capture forms simple, asking for only essential information. Make a “Request a Quote” form or a “Contact Us” form easy to complete and prominently display the benefits of providing contact information.

Offer Valuable Content in Exchange for Information:

Entice visitors to provide their information and become a lead by offering valuable content, such as exclusive whitepapers, case studies, or product demos. Communicate the value they will receive in return for sharing their contact details.

Automating Email Follow-Up: Maintain Engagement and Drive Conversions

Set Up Automated Email Sequences: 

Develop automated email sequences triggered by specific actions, such as filling out a lead capture form or attending a presentation at your booth. These sequences deliver personalized follow-up messages, ensuring leads receive relevant information and stay engaged.

Tailor Content Based on Interactions:

Customize email content based on the actions leads took at the trade show, such as attending a specific session or expressing interest in a particular product. Deliver targeted content that aligns with their interests and moves them closer to conversion.

Monitor and Analyze Email Metrics:

Track email open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to measure the effectiveness of your automated email campaigns. Leverage this data to refine your messaging, improve engagement, and optimize your follow-up strategy.

Start Embracing Digital Marketing Strategies for Trade Show Success

By leveraging digital marketing strategies, you can significantly boost your lead generation and trade show booth ROI.

Don't rely solely on traditional methods that yield limited results. Embrace the power of digital marketing to capture more leads, nurture them into customers, and maximize your return on investment. Start implementing these strategies today and unlock the true potential of your trade show presence.

If you aren’t sure exactly where to start you should download our comprehensive 4-Week Digital Marketing Checklist for Trade Show Success. The checklist provides actionable steps to build out a digital marketing trade show promotion campaign.

4-Week Digital Marketing Checklist For Trade Show Success Don't miss out on generating more leads at your next trade show.  Download our free checklist now!

Leave behind outdated practices and embark on a digital adventure that will transform your trade show booth into a lead-generating powerhouse. The shores of unmatched ROI await your arrival!

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