Generally, when show organizers start reviewing all the data generated by and for their event, it quickly becomes simply too overwhelming to analyze easily. Many a time, in the process of trying to grapple with mind-numbing excel sheets, we end up just sitting and staring at the computer screen for hours. In the absence of well-defined goals by which to measure the trends, it actually feels as if one’s brain power has been sucked right out of one’s brain (yes, we have been there!), and that is when one loses focus and misses the important stories hidden deep in behind the data.
It doesn’t have to be like that. Below are the top five (5) essential focus areas that enable you to concentrate on what really matters and provide compelling insights into the performance of your events. As always, please contact your a2z account manager if you need more information or assistance with analyzing your event’s performance metrics.
- New Exhibitor Retention
It’s useful to gather the percentage of exhibitors retained in the current year, but you must dig deeper to truly understand the behavior of your event(s).
Significant shifts in retention rate, specific categories, and changes in NSF from YOY of your new exhibitors can give you significant insights into the dynamics of your industry.
Understanding where your new exhibitors are coming from, what categories they represent, and which ones are returning – these are indicators of underlying current industry shifts that can either challenge or help your event grow in the future.
- Supply Demand Gap of Attendee Demographics
There is a reason many business schools teach students about supply and demand. It is also a fact of business and how economies grow and decline. The same goes for your event.
Mapping categories from the buyer side to the supplier side help determine if there are any significant gaps that need to be addressed. This data is extremely beneficial, in fact beyond words beneficial! Use this data to help understand any shifts in your event. By analyzing the supply-demand gaps, you can bring a better focus to your sales and marketing strategies.
You can also use the graphs and data to attract prospective exhibitors as well as new attendees to your event. Simply put, the more you know, the better-informed decisions you can make.
- Deeper Level Geographical Segmentation
It’s not enough to only know where your buyers and suppliers are coming from to your event. It’s necessary to understand the specifics, the demographics of both suppliers and buyers within their specific geographical locations.
Each location may have separate demographics and categories requiring your sales team to come up with region-specific sales pitches that address the requirements of the targeted audience.
The best part? Chances are that you already have this data! Coordinate with your registration partner and your exhibit management partner at the start of the show cycle so that you can easily glean this data before and beyond your event.
- Opportunity Pipeline
Forecasting is a process the importance of which exhibit sales and marketing managers understand very well. Accurate forecasting gives you the ability to understand at which time specific buyers and suppliers should be registered and contracted for your event.
Understanding and looking for this within your data allows you to know:
- Who is delayed and requires more attention
- The upcoming pipeline to market and sell
- At which point in time you should be at certain metrics
- Behavior of Anchor Exhibitors
Your anchor exhibitors are your anchors for a reason. Beyond the data they provide, you probably already have deeper relations with these exhibitors. Make sure you understand their value and review the data to see where they have made shifts. They have survived many years of up and down economies and have continued to exhibit at your events for a reason. They see the value in connecting their brand with yours. Work with them on these shifts to help focus your event or broaden to other markets.
The knowledge and intelligence gained from anchor exhibitors’ data and from partnering with them will help you stay tuned into your event’s vertical and grow it to new heights, all with the help of those tried and true exhibitors that have been with you every step of the way.
Data is valuable. Data is what you make of it. Make sure to start with specific goals and look deeper to fully understand the trends hiding in your data. The information is there, you only need to focus on the right pieces. Here’s to taking your event to new heights!
Authored in collaboration with Ashish Jain, Director, Strategic Business Development, a2z, Inc.
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