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What’s the Value of Trade Show Exhibiting?

I often hear this question: “Help, please! My trade shows are under attack from management! What is the value of meeting a customer or prospect on the trade show floor versus in their office?”

Trade Shows Work

An estimated 110 million people attend more than 4,000 shows in the United States and Canada every year. How many clients or prospects can your sales reps see per day? Maybe 3-4 or 6-7?

Consider a 20 total hour show with 10,000 attendees. You have the potential to visit with up to 500 people per hour. Even if you only meet with 5% of those attendees, you’ll end up with the opportunity to connect, face-to-face, with 25 people per hour. To achieve the same level of success, one sales rep would need 20 weeks!

The Numbers

Trade show exhibiting is a great value. Consider the following numbers, provided by CEIR.

  • For the past 10 years, an average of 81%-83% of visitors have some kind of buying power.
  • The average visitor spends 9.2 hours at a 2-3 day trade show.
  • 86% of your visitors will be new contacts.
  • 77% of visitors will remember your company for up to 10 weeks.
  • Cost per lead from show averages $212.00.
  • Cost per lead from field averages $308.00.
  • Cost per sale from a show averages $705.00.
  • Cost per sale from the field averages $1140.00.
  • That’s 38% less for a sale from a trade show lead!

How to Use This Info

I suggest you share these numbers with your management and accounting teams. Then couple the information with your own statistics & measurement results, so that you can help everyone understand the importance of your trade show marketing program.

The Measurement Made Easy! CD is exactly what you need to justify and prove the value of your trade show program. With 21 calculators and planning templates, this CD will help you make sound exhibiting decisions and report them to your internal team. Click here to request your free copy.


About the Author

Michael Flavin is a trade show strategist & exhibit consultant at Skyline Exhibits & Graphics Mid-America in St. Louis, MO. He works with companies & organizations to eliminate headaches from their trade show, event marketing & recruiting programs. Overall, he offers total, turn-key solutions, focused on creating memorable experiences, lowering operating expenses and increasing ROI. In addition, Michael consults & trains booth staffers and helps companies measure results from their trade show programs. He also helps exhibit marketers design St. Louis trade show displays.

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