How do you define success for your event?


If you ask 20 people who participated in the same event if it was successful, would their responses be consistent?

The results may be not be the same considering their roles either as an attendee, exhibitor, sales rep, or marketing manager.  Their individual criteria and assessment of the event may vary.

No matter what type of engagement (live, virtual or hybrid) you’re in the midst of planning, attending, or participating in, you need to define what equals success BEFORE it begins as this will pave the way for meaningful results.

The goal is to educate, engage and empower. As the trade show industry reawakens with live events or hybrid (live + virtual = hybrid), many marketing teams are still struggling with how and what to measure.

How do we juggle all of the online data? Number of attendees? Content viewed? Number of leads? Cost per lead? Click-through rates? Cost per click? Leads, leads, leads… Go to an event, capture the leads, and give them to sales. End of story, right? That’s success, right?


Let’s talk lead retrieval – Yes, we all want leads!

The lead experience should be consistent for both the attendee and the sales rep responsible for obtaining leads. Scan, share, qualify and drive analytics. Simple, consistent and a great experience for all.

ExhibitForce’s lead capture technology, Media Suite, creates an interactive meaningful experience to share content such as client testimonials, videos, brochures, and white papers while qualifying the contact and capturing their info as part of the process. Media Suite is an all-in-one platform that seamlessly integrates with ExhibitForce’s Event Suite technology, but also the option to integrate into other platforms for CRM or marketing automation like SalesForce, HubSpot, Marketo, and more. Harvest critical data and achieve multiple objectives in every interaction. Capture leads with ROI reporting while simultaneously educating consumers with your brand and message. To learn more, check out Media Apps.


Now let’s talk Live vs. Virtual!

CEIR’s (Center for Exhibition Industry Research) recent report “CEIR Global Virtual Event Trends” was based on a poll of executives at organizations that run or manage physical, in-person business-to-business (B2B) exhibitions to determine how active these organizers are in running or managing virtual events. This report also included baseline data on what is typically included in virtual events and performance benchmarks. The survey was fielded in late September to early October 2020 thus the results are current and the topline findings are summarized within the following info-graph:

Covid-19 is a catalyst for virtual event activity

Virtual events may be here to stay to broaden marketing programs but the physical aspect is the key component to a successful event as the ROI continues to soar above and beyond. If requested to compare the two (live vs. virtual), there are many factors to consider.   TSNN’s article, “Screen Time versus Face Time: What has the highest marketing value?” highlights a few important areas to consider (leads included). Fortunately, most organizations have no shortage of data but are uncertain how to harness it.

How do you really know the ROI?

Reporting on metrics can prove to be challenging as many quickly review data and move on. Once the leads are passed on to Sales it is difficult to know what happened. This is where ExhibitForce has tried to close the gap. MediaSuite has the option to tag a lead to a Salesperson and then to ping them intermittently for the result of that lead so it can be used to generate a more accurate ROI for your event.

Generating consistent metrics, no matter if it is leads, brand awareness, staying within a budget, sharing content, educational or speaker sessions, etc., ExhibitForce’s Event Suite technology provides a centralized portal with access from anywhere, at any time and on any device.

No matter your role within an event and what you decide to measure, make sure it’s consistent, in line with your organization and being compared show-over-show, year-over-year (the good and the bad years) to define success for the future.


Please register for our Define Success Webinar on April 8th @ 10:30 am CST.

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