Archive for July, 2009

Applying The Power of OnLine Metrics to Trade Shows


Google Analytics DashboardYou can’t improve what you can’t measure.   So the saying goes, but how do we measure a dynamic face to face event?  Let’s take a page from the Google playbook to help us make better decisions, increase effectiveness, and demonstrate how trade shows add value that can’t be duplicated by other marketing elements.

Specifically, we’ll look at the components of Google Analytics and see how these can be applied to trade shows.  Where Google Analytics tracks visitors’ IP addresses, RFID technology tracks booth visits.


Number and Types of Visitors

Google Analytics VisitorsWeb metrics track IP addresses to determine:

  • Number of visits to the site by day/week/month
  • Geographical location, type of browser and language preference
  • First time visitors versus return visitors


Booth analyTrade Show Booth Visitorstics via RFID technology, provides

  • Number of visitors to your booth by hour/day
  • Any demographic data available, such as geographical location, title, company, level of purchasing influence and more.
  • First time visitor versus existing contact (by comparing data to your CRM system)



Web metrics show:

    Google Analytics Duration

  • Average time spent on the site.
  • Most popular pages and duration of visits to these pages

Booth analytics lets you track:
Trade Show Booth Duration

  • Average time spent at the booth
  • Most popular sections/elements of your booth, which of these generated the longest visits.


Setting Objectives, Analyzing Results

Web metrics allow you to:Google Analytics Goals

  • Set quantitative goals for your web pages
  • Monitor visits regularly so you can compare goals to results and make any necessary changes
  • Adjust your goals and expectations as needed, set up realistic benchmarks based on historical results

With Booth Analytics you can:
Trade Show Booth Dashboard

  • Create your own goals for the event
  • Monitor visits regularly so you can compare goals to results and make any necessary changes
  • Adjust your goals and expectations as needed, set up realistic benchmarks based on historical results
  • Share executive dashboards and results with team members, senior management

The Key Benefits and Importance of Booth Analytics

By monitoring results regularly, you can identify problems at an early stage and make necessary changes.  You essentially have multiple opportunities to adjust and achieve success during the year.

With numbers to back you up you’ll make better, more confident decision-making.  Since you have more information about the attendees at your booth (whether they’ve engaged with your staff or not) you gain a better understanding of who they are and what they are most interested in.

When you have quantitative data, you can talk the language of the board room, gain higher respect from senior executives and improve your chances for budget approvals.  George P. Johnson’s EventView 2009 research concludes that event professionals who provide event measurement and analytics are twice as likely to expect a budget increase.

How have you measured success?  Do you have measurement tips and recommendations to share?

Relevant Links:

Examples of Booth Analytics Reports

Google Analytics blog:

EventView 2009 Reports


July 27, 2009 at 12:27 pm Leave a comment


The economy and emerging technology have driven tremendous change in the event industry.  Event measurement and quantifiable justification are no longer “nice-to-haves”, they are requirements.  To help you succeed in this new reality, my blog will provide actionable, timely information and recommendations, based on our customers’ experiences and on our expertise as technology and measurement solution providers. 

Blogs are most valuable when they become a two-way conversation.   Whether you’re just starting off in this industry or are a 30 year veteran, you have a unique set of experiences and perspectives that we can all benefit from.  So please share your ideas, expertise and questions by adding comments to these posts.

July 16, 2009 at 5:22 pm Leave a comment

Top 5 Technology Trends in Event Measurement

Here’s my perspective on current technology trends that are adding real value to our customers’ events. 


 Easier to Go Green

Thanks to the proliferation of web-enabled devices and “smart” phones, event managers can now provide surveys and conference evaluations via attendees’ mobile devices.   The benefits of electronic surveys are immediate and considerable – you’re “going green” by minimizing paper, you eliminate hours of manual tasks (distributing and collecting surveys, manually tabulating results) and associated labor costs, and you can view results in minutes rather than weeks. 

Game Crazy, a leading video game retailer, used electronic surveys to find out if their sales associates were being motivated and acquiring new learning during their annual sales meeting.  The event management team monitored results in real time and gave immediate and specific feedback to presenters who scored poorly in early sessions.  As the event progressed, these presenters made the necessary adjustments, quantifiably improved their performances in later sessions, and boosted attendee motivation and learning scores.

The Game Crazy team took their green initiatives even further, by replacing all paper agendas with real time, editable, personalized agendas on the attendees’ mobile devices.  They also took advantage of the system’s ability to poll the audience in real time, for more dynamic and relevant speaking sessions.


 Social Mediasocial-media

Social media / social networking software for events, when applied strategically, deliver great value.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms can help you start and maintain a pre-event conversation with potential attendees to determine what topics will be of greatest interest and relevance.  They can also help generate excitement for your event – and more registrants.  Oracle sent out a tweet on an upcoming conference and within minutes received 18 registrations before ever formally launching the registration site. 

 There are as many creative, successful uses of social media in the event industry as there are pointless and unproductive ones.  In subsequent posts I’ll provide best practices and cautionary tales so you can separate the truth from the hype.


 A Single Consistent Lead Management Solution

A tradeshow lead capture solution that provides contact information is only the first step in adding value for exhibitors.  To drive ROI, exhibitors need a complete lead management solution that includes lead qualification and prioritization to determine which leads have a higher probability of converting to sales.  By extending the lead management solution across all events, the event manager can identify trends, provide benchmarking stats and help exhibitors establish objectives prior to the event.


 Event to Event Metricsexecutive dashboard

Once you have obtained consistent data, you are able to provide event to event metrics.  By combining data generated by all these solutions into an executive dashboard that clearly demonstrates results versus established objectives and compares results from one event to another, you are able to monitor your team’s performance and make necessary changes to improve overall event results.  By communicating this to your organization’s senior team, you are showing your focus on creating value.

 As a result of their successful initial deployments of event marketing metrics, the Philips Healthcare event team has developed a global event measurement tool (GEMT) and is committed to consistently using this tool to measure overall results across all their events.  Moving forward, they now have historical data across multiple events, are much more confident they will meet and exceed their objectives and can justify their investment in trade shows at the executive level.


marketing-intelligenceMarketing Intelligence

New technologies allow us to bring disparate sources of information together to better understand attendee interests and preferences.  In addition, managers are looking at attendee behavior and its impact on purchasing decisions.  According to Paco Underhill, renowned retail guru, it is this understanding that gives us the most reliable predictor of purchase.  By delivering corresponding metrics with an analysis of how your event affected intent to purchase, you are delivering real value to your organization.   Emerging technologies assisting with this market intelligence include RFID, tradeshow lead management,  and survey solutions.  A single reporting and analysis system combines the data stream from these solutions to provide better attendee understanding and purchase intent.


Related Links:

Whitepaper:  Metrics Are King! Event Justification in a Down Economy

Article:  RFID to Keep Tabs on NPE2009 Attendees

Article:  Jim Spellos – “What You Need to Know About Social Networking Tools”

Article:  “ROI Proving Your Booth’s Worth It”

July 16, 2009 at 5:15 pm 2 comments

About Roger

As a 15 year veteran event analyst, Roger Lewis is a leader and visionary in the area of event measurement. He is an expert on utilizing technology, such as radio frequency identification (RFID), to measure and understand marketing performance metrics. As executive vice president of Alliance Tech, Roger has been instrumental in positioning the organization as the number one provider of event business intelligence metrics for Fortune 500 companies. More about Roger

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