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How to maximise ROI on your exhibition stand in 2023

In-person exhibitions and events made a very welcome return last year, requiring event planners and marketers to develop strong tradeshow strategies for their brands and be able to accurately measure return on investment (ROI). 

When considering exhibiting in a trade show or exhibition, it is important to first consider your key objectives and measures of success. Do you want to drive brand awareness? Reach new audiences? Increase sales? Launch a new product? Showcase your offering or team to current or new industries? 

At Creative Hire, our highly experienced team take a holistic approach when considering your stand brief and work with you to maximise your investment.

So, here are our top tips on how to maximise your brand ROI on your exhibition stand.

Pre-show strategy

  1. Nail your floor plan space

Choose your floor plan space wisely and consider where your competitors are located. Do you want to leverage off competitor traffic so you can grab key customers soon after they depart another stand? Or do you want to be next to a networking space or entry point? ? Your floor plan size/footprint, orientation and location goes hand-in-hand with the design process which will be your next consideration.

      2. Select the right exhibition partner

If you have a particular vision, work with your stand builder early in the process. The right exhibition partner has an internal team who will manage the project on many levels including; designers, production, logistics and execution – which means you don’t have to! Your internal team can focus on the big picture and leave the details to your trusted partner.

      3. Consider advertising and sponsorship opportunities 

Tap into the exhibition opportunities available including digital / website advertising, show apps, ads in show guides and show signage to really highlight your brand to the show audience and leverage your ROI.  Additionally, you can supplement this with your own social media ads which will allow you to target key audiences via demographic, job titles, interests and more and give you a clear cost per lead and return on spend metric. Whilst sponsorships and advertising tend to be a larger investment, they do give you greater exposure from entry level to top tier packages. 

      4. Secure pre-scheduled appointments

It goes without saying, setting up meetings ahead of time will maximise your opportunity. Notify your customers/clients/suppliers that you’ll be at the show via eDM and social media posts or ask your employees to share details via their LinkedIn profiles.  People will be less likely to skip your booth if they have a standing calendar invite to meet with you and 74% of attendees believe engaging with the exhibitors makes them more likely to actually buy the products/services on display. (Terceira, 2019)

      5. Use your social network

Use social media to execute a pre-show campaign via LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to drive awareness, build excitement and ensure your audience is in attendance come show day. Did you know that 48% of online users rely on social media presence whenever they decide to purchase a product or engage in a service. (Lin, n.d)


During the show

      1. Use FOMO marketing

Content is key and a great resource to maximise your ROI. Leverage that ‘fear of missing out’ and drive your social media presence with live videos, regular story updates, behind-the-scenes content, and interviews with key stakeholders. Showcase how much your brand is in demand at the show and influence client relationship-building with the limited timeframe. Consider using special show offers and promotional discounts such as new sign-up giveaways, free demos/trials, etc to help boost conversions. With 81% of trade show attendees having buyer authority, capturing leads is crucial to ensuring you gain a return on investment. (iCapture, 2023)

      2. Empower your team

A highly motivated and knowledgeable team will set your brand apart from competitors and most importantly, ensure a memorable customer experience long after the show has concluded. Be clear on your stand objectives with your team from the outset and understand what will inspire them to achieve the desired result. Maintain a positive team outlook and energy levels throughout the show by providing support and regular check-ins on their progress. Know what inspires your team by running a competition for the most deals secured at the show or achieving benchmark social media engagement to generate brand awareness. 

      3. Create a BIG brand presence

Your branding and service offering should be the hero and draw attention, providing a unique experience for visitors. Maximise PR opportunities through industry publications or other relevant news outlets who will be at the show. Have a comprehensive media pack to provide them that includes a description of your company, contact information, social media statistics, case studies, information on partnerships and collaborations, and testimonials from past customers. Invite media to attend demonstration presentations or product showcases as well to help maximise brand coverage. 


Post show success

      1. Conduct fast and effective lead nurture

In today’s digital world, prospects lose interest faster than ever. Did you know that 50% of deals go to the first company to follow up? (Inside Sales, 2022). Using your new show visitor database, it’s essential to categorise your leads into sales prospects, potential partners, vendors, media and industry influencers and start building these relationships. Be unique and use tactics that stand out from your competitors with a personal video, feedback survey, and even referral offers throughout your integrated marketing campaigns.  

      2. Time to measure your ROI

Your ROI will depend on your key objectives but we recommend the below as a great starting point: 

Traffic: how many leads did you receive? How many visitors attended the show? Has your database seen significant growth following the show?

New business: have you signed new customers? Driven sales?

Brand awareness: Did you see a spike in website visitors? Did your social following grow? Have you seen an increase in inquiries? 

At Creative Hire, our focus is to help you achieve ROI and guarantee success for your business.

Contact us today and let our team turn your show objectives into a reality. Contact us for your custom display requirements.

the Ultimate Exhibition Planners Guide

From crafting a flawless marketing strategy to mastering stand design and supercharging promotions, your pathway to success begins with the perfect plan. 


Download our must-have exhibition success toolkit below and execute your next tradeshow with ease and precision!