Putting More R in Your ROI—Top Trends in Trade Show Measurement

A number of factors are driving measurement technology trends in the trade show industry. The green movement, economic recession, social networking, and the lower costs to provide technology solutions are at the top of the list. Exhibitors are at a critical juncture where event measurement and quantifiable justification are no longer “nice-to-have” luxuries. They are critical business imperatives. Here are the top five trends that are influencing the way that trade show managers and event marketers use technology to measure ROI.

#1 Measuring savings by reducing your carbon footprint—the green movement is a catalyst for moving the trade show industry to a paperless environment. Exhibitors play a role in increasing the demand for green solutions such as digital conference agendas, exhibitor directories, surveys, and evaluations. Show organizers are addressing the demand with mobile solutions and web portals that replace printed collateral.

#2 Measuring social media impact—the proliferation of social networking platforms off the trade show floor is driving demand for access from the show floor. Technology solutions that provide exhibitors with access to attendees through Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms help exhibitors measure the impact of their social media activities and bring their online engagement full circle at the face-to-face event.

#3 Mining Booth Visitor Metrics—the post-recession economic climate is fueling the increased interest in attendee metrics. RFID technologies enable the collection of data from multiple on-site sources, which is analyzed to determine purchase intent and the probability for increased revenue.

#4 Measuring lead results using one lead retrieval solution—the complexity of determining which leads result from trade show participation when multiple marketing mediums are utilized, is motivating exhibitors to choose a single solution for lead retrieval. Web-based platforms that combine results from a variety of sources including email, telemarketing, social media, and direct mail, help event marketers integrate trade show metrics with other data points.

#5 Event to event metrics—the increased availability and lower costs of technology solutions are helping exhibitors address the difficulty of capturing and qualifying leads across multiple events. Solutions using RFID chips coupled with web-enabled lead capture devices, offer exhibitors effective and efficient ways to consistently capture and store attendee information in a single data base for analyzing program effectiveness from show to show and year to year.

Alliance Tech’s Roger Lewis will be discussing these trends in detail in his presentation, “Putting More R in your ROI—Top Trends in Measurement for Meetings and Conferences,” at the TS2 Conference on Tuesday, July 13, 2010 in Boston.

What trends in event measurement technology are you following?