How to get ROI from a trade show, even if you don’t have a booth

Since trade shows are an effective guerrilla marketing tool (aka weapon) where introductions and invitations are made, it is one of my favorite topics when doing presentations.

Instead of re-inventing the wheel, I have used this to get the minds thinking:

Take this simple marketing quiz

  1. Sit in the back, watch, listen and learn.
  2. Cajole your way onstage so you can make a slick presentation that gets everyone on their feet, buzzing and excited, eager to do business with you or hire you.
  3. Set up a booth in the lobby that energizes and engages 12 of the people enough that they tell their friends while it disturbs or mystifies two of the others and is ignored by the rest.
  4. Provide a service (like cookies and juice in a box at the exit) that many of the people there are appreciative of, but few remember or talk about.

It is always fun to watch faces scrunch to consider an answer.  #1 and #4 seems to be “Right”.  #2 appears to be where the power exists.

There is another article about trade shows here.

Most marketers engaged in event initiatives claim a positive ROI from their efforts, according to a new report from Demand Metric sponsored by Attend, but ROI is only sparingly used as an event success metric. The survey – fielded among 202 marketers (68% primarily B2B) – found the average ROI for events to be in the 25-34% range. Source - MarketingCharts

As to this specific question: “How to get ROI from a trade show, even if you don’t have a booth.”

Are you referring to random luck trade shows while using psychic magnetism? 


Are you talking about using #2 in this blog about essentials for profitable revenue growth? The foundation for participation is then based on purpose, connecting and engaging with specific people or companies.

Trade shows can be attractive because some people are GREAT at meeting new people.

“Hello, my name is,” socializing, smiling with casual conversation is much easier and less risky than the next step of adding value. For those who have a skill or talent of meeting new people, It is more difficult to measure “ROI”. Who records every conversation?

The people who attend trade shows walk the many large rooms are not the same (Though they certainly appear to be the same).

Topics: B2B Sales Trade Shows