ROI - it means more than you think.
In any industry where money is spent with the expectation that the investment will deliver financial rewards, the term ROI is widely used both before and after a deal is done, contract signed or service delivered. ROI, as we all know refers to a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of different investments. A purely financial measure. ROI can have a another meaning and in the case of trade shows specifically, a potentially more important one.
Return On Involvement - I'm going to give credit to one of my clients, Gary Mottershead at GCP Industrial Products / Rubatex , for bringing this alternative to my attention. During the launch of Foam Expo this year, Gary mentioned to me that for trade shows, ROI in a financial sense should be considered alongside the level of involvement each exhibitor and visitor makes before, during and after the trade show. If for example, you pay to exhibit at a show, pay for new marketing material, fancy new business cards and so but do not tell anyone in your own network of contacts and clients that you are participating, you are less likely to see these people face to face. As a trade show organiser, our job is to deliver visitors from your target markets to your booth, which is only possible by working with our exhibitors, those who know and understand their industry fully. Remember, you are the industry experts and no one knows your business better than you and your colleagues. Over the year building up to Foam Expo 2017, we engaged with each exhibitor as much as possible to ensure the right people physically came to the show, while the exhibitors themselves also promoted their own involvement through social media, mail-blasts, industry meetings and so on. This resulted in a fantastic number of show visitors, more than we could have hoped for, nearly doubling our pre-show expectations. This result was because both the show organisers, the exhibitors and the visitors all invested their time and got a real return on their involvement. Foam Expo 2017 took place Feb 28 - March 2 this year and with over 10 months to go before next years show we are already close to selling out of available booth spaces, this is because almost every exhibitor at the 2017 show met the right people and engaged with them fully over the three days. Almost every exhibitor at our 2017 show are signed up to exhibit again in 2018.
ROI- The Return on invested time, as well as money.
Jamie Reid - Event Director of Foam Expo - firstname.lastname@example.org