It is a much debated discussion, what will the trade fair participation bring us? What is the ROI? A legitimate question, because you’re not going “just” to the fair. Then it’s lots of money for 3 or 4 days! My experience is that the whole approach of the fair often with a kind of tubular vision is aimed at those 3 or 4 trading days. In advance, a email is often sent to relationships, which announces you will be present again this year. And at the end of the fair, it is not rare that exhibit houses still finds a box of lead forms lagging behind in the booth. This because it was and of the fair and everyone wanted to go home. The next day we will get back to work with everything that has been left, because through a fair participation the ordinary works pile up. Not strange and recognizable to most of you. But what if you also prepare the time towards the fair and the period, follow-up, afterwards!! Then you use the potential of the trade fair optimally and you are talking about a maturity of several months!

Is participating on fairs a good idea?

If you have any doubts as to whether the fair participation is sufficient? Then Check with what purpose you are going to the fair and if this is feasible. Do you need a booth for your physical status or can you just visit the fair or with colleagues? You have to go to speak customers and orient yourself to the market. Perhaps you can better spend the investment on a more focused approach, such as a “customer event”. This Gives you the direct control and the full attention of the customer for your subject or introduction.

Extend the trade fair time

If you do consider a fair participation, the exhibit time is not the actual days of the fair itself. The fair time extension begins when registering for participation on the fair. From This moment on you can communicate and the whole journey to the fair. This will depend on a good preparation, because otherwise you will be surprised by the fact that the trade fair is almost there again. Use online and offline communication tools to let your audience know that you are going to participate on the fair. By not only focusing on the fair days you will extend the trade fair time. This is often 4 months or more before the first fair day is started. When the entire organization shares unambiguous messages, creates email banners, writes blogs and uses linkedIn, you will generate more traffic on the trade fair.  

ROI measured at the Fair

Generate leads, which is often the goal of the fair. Fill out forms and collect them in a box below the counter. Of Course you can also scan the leads by a batch reader of the organization. In the end, you can manually link this data to your own CRM system in order to determine a good ROI of the participation on the fair. What is much easier to apply is the registration by an app on your cell. Of which there are different kinds in the market. My preference would be with QuickTap Survey (lead capture app), because this app works both online and offline. So It can also be used if the Wifi is not great. This app can also be applied very well after the fair so it is not a one-time investment but a way of work.


A good follow-up is often forgotten, because everyone goes back into the delusion of the day. Here too, a good preparation is the ‘magic’ word. Brainstorm in advance about a good follow-up. Prepare it and plan it, which really makes you get much more out of the fair! The exhibition participation is an easy reason to refer to a subsequent sales interview. In General I would recommend to thank everyone who has brought a visit. A personalized follow-up action will help you stay top of mind.


A lot of success with extending your trade fair time. You will experience that if you follow this strategy you will create more eXposure with a positive ROI.

Richard Boelens 
eXpo eXpert