Trade Shows can be about more than leads and sales. Cost savings tactics such as negotiating with new suppliers, reducing travel, recruitment and generating press all lower the cost of doing business for your company. Reducing cost makes a dollar for dollar impact on profitability. Measure and report the savings as an element of event ROI.
Most events offer many ways to save your company money. Events present “one-on-many” opportunities that are especially effective in reducing sales call costs and travel expense to hold meetings in the future. The reason is hundreds, if not thousands of people who can influence the amount or cost of doing business for your company have paid their own way to be at the event and are available to meet with you. These people include existing customers, potential buyers, suppliers, partners, channels, influencers and many others.
One of our clients hosted over 1,000 meetings that included their own executives and sales teams with customers, channel partners, strategic alliances, technical experts, standards body members, investors and industry press and analysts at their largest trade show. Each meeting they held resulted in the elimination of future time and travel expense to hold that same meeting at the company’s expense in the future. This client was able to report a savings estimate of more than $1,000,000, representing enough return to justify the entire show budget without any estimate of eventual sales impact.
Reducing the number of required field sales contacts and associated cost presents another opportunity for savings. A well-executed event plan accomplishes the same objectives with targeted prospects that would occur in the first few field sales calls. A well-executed program may eliminate up to two or more sales calls in the field required to close a sale. Typically, these calls cost a company from $400 to $1,000 or more dollars each.
There are more ways to impact the cost of doing business that can be listed here. For example, many clients use marketing events as recruitment opportunities thereby reducing the cost of finding suitable candidates and bringing candidates to HQ for an interview. This is also true for supplier and channel recruitment.
The activities at your next event should be aimed not only at the income side of the profit equation, but the cost side as well. Of course to make these benefits happen requires that you initiate a dialogue with those internal managers who can take advantage of the opportunity your event provides. They can also help you estimate the value associated with doing multiple things at an event instead of doing them one at a time.
Reporting these results in your event measurement report will add credibility and financial justification for your investment beyond the primary goal of increasing sales.