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How to easily offer transparent exhibitor ROI

Today’s marketers are used to using Linkedin, Google and Facebook – platforms which all show real-time statistics.

This means the event industry must be equally as transparent about how budgets are being spent, providing customers with useful statistics about who is engaging with their profile and content.

In this guide we show you how you can offer transparent ROI for your exhibitors, how to build a “monetisation journey” as well as how to get the most out of your attendees.

For more on how to drive revenue at your events download your free copy of the Monetisation Blueprint.

Offer transparent ROI

Gone are the days where organisers can expect rebookings year after year without proof of ROI. 

Exhibitors expect a real-time dashboard of information about all customers who have engaged with their online company profile, as well as the products and content they publish at their physical stand.

This is the benefit of pursuing a Smart Events business model – digitally enhanced in-person shows which boost value for all participants.

ExpoPlatform’s integrated mobile app allows for lead scanning of badges – barcodes or QR codes – which is available for visitors and exhibitors‌, who can rate and categorise leads and add notes.

All leads captured are stored in an exhibitor’s dashboard, bringing together online and offline results together into a single view.

Brian Field, COO of Emerald, said: “Covid-19 has forced everyone into realising that technology – whether it’s rented or owned – is an absolute necessity.

“Organisers can’t just go back to a pre-Covid-19 way of doing things because the way things used to be done – coupled with the absence of performance data – has been increasingly challenging for chief marketing officers seeking hard calculations of ROI.

“Being able to use data and supporting tools to generate clear measures and metrics around ROI is required. We have to do it.

“Covid-19 has accelerated the need for broader technological adoption, which is something the industry was going to have to do anyway.”

Build a monetisation journey

A blend of live and digital channels can bring out the best of both worlds to create a “monetisation journey” through the extended lifecycle of an event.

The monetisation journey, a concept developed by MBB-Consulting Group, allows an exhibitor to pay for a series of touch points.

One element is the physical stand, but there are also other opportunities to offer within the industry such as online panel discussions or digital product presentations.

A subscription model may be suitable here, where an exhibitor can choose to pay an annual fee for a touchpoint package which includes a certain number of digital and live elements.

Timothy Skennion, managing director of Derabo Advisory Group, said: “For the innovative event producer, hybrid events provide a blank canvas for reinventing the event experience – for attendees and sponsors alike – through unlimited formats, content and engagement opportunities.”

Monetisation packages
An example of how to package different tiers.

Offer a menu of options to allow differently sized businesses to buy a package of live and virtual event touch points at different rates. 

A smaller firm could purchase a tabletop of about 20sqm, with an online product tour for one month and a virtual panel discussion at another time of year.

Meanwhile, a large business could pay for a stand of more than 50sqm in a physical show as well as two panel discussions, two industry talks, an online award, online stand and virtual product tours across four months. 

These would be priced relatively and could be paid for annually. It is important this journey should be designed with three elements in mind: exclusivity, urgency and purpose.

  • Exclusivity: a limited inventory of in-person and online options is a tried and tested way to encourage bookings. 
  • Urgency: these options can have limited availability – such as spaces sitting in on a panel discussion – which makes it important to reserve tickets sooner.
  • Purpose: make sure your offerings deliver results for sponsors and audiences. The relationship built between customers and brands becomes a community through content which is mutually beneficial. 

Tesi Baur, MBB-Consulting Group founder, said: “We have created the concept of a monetisation journey to bring live and digital B2B products together that make sense for exhibiting companies and enables them to get visibility and leads throughout the year.”

Monetising visitors

This can begin with free online content which is open to all. Complementary components like this act as adverts for your products and brand awareness.

They attract people who have an interest in what you are selling and search online for it. 

The second tier involves potential customers signing up. These people already know you have good content but now want access to exclusive articles, showcases or products.

This is because they have had their interest piqued by the free offerings. Content such as expert insights or webinars then become available to them once they have signed up and logged in. 

A third tier could include paid-for access to VIP content, such as being able to connect with mastermind groups or think tanks as well as an annual pass to an event series. 

Limit spaces available to online content to make it exclusive to those who have subscribed. Target this audience by giving them FOMO – such as “only a few spaces remain” to industry leader presentations or panel discussions.

The purpose is it keeps customers engaged with your content, informing decisions and improving products for a better ROI.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful. At ExpoPlatform, we want to help you build better events and communities. Please get in touch and ask for a demo here. Thank you.