Post IP EXPO: Does Trade Show Footfall Translate to Marketing ROI?
This week the great and the good of B2B tech flocked to ExCel for the annual IP Expo bash. The show floor was packed with Octopus Group clients spanning all sections of the show from cloud and infrastructure to cyber security to data centre, elsewhere the exhibitor list was a ‘who’s who’ of the current UK tech scene. In recent years, much has been made of the role of large IT trade shows and how prominently they should sit within the marketer’s toolkit. With marketing budgets tightly controlled and the measurement of sales and marketing activity becoming more and more sophisticated through analytics and marketing automation, trade shows need to demonstrate their ROI. While footfall alone is no measurement of success, IP Expo event organisers will certainly have been delighted to see delegates stream through the doors first thing on day one, and see packed seminar theatres to see presentations from the likes of Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales. In fact, at certain points, delegates were standing six-deep outside the theatre spilling over onto neighbouring stands. Of course gut feel and anecdotal feedback are not trusted measurements of success. Each individual exhibitor will now begin the process of evaluating leads and translating stand-footfall and conversations into marketing-qualified leads to be processed and nurtured through a planned, systematic and integrated sales and marketing automation system over the coming months. And therein lies the truth of ROI in IT trade shows. Purchasing decisions in B2B often involve multiple stakeholders and large average order values, so buying cycles can be long and patience is key. A show is only ever as successful as your ability to effectively market to leads in the coming months (or even years) after the show as they work their way through your sales funnel. Download our Strategic Customer Acquisition guide for more advice about finding and qualifying B2B leads