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exhibitor q & a




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Linda Armstrong, larmstrong@exhibitor
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Lead-Acquisition Costs
I know trade shows are incredibly valuable, but my company's management doesn't understand their monetary worth. Can you provide some stats that prove the value of exhibitions?

In "The Cost Effectiveness of Exhibition Participation: Part I and Part II," the Dallas-based Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), provides several stats that prove that, on average, exhibition leads take less time and money to close than field-sales leads.

According to the study, the cost of an initial face-to-face meeting with a prospect is $96 for an exhibition lead; whereas, without an exhibition lead, that figure is $1,039 (including $443 to identify the prospect prior to the initial sales call and $596 for the field-sales call). Thus, meeting a prospect at an exhibition versus finding and meeting a prospect in the field saves $943 per prospect.

The number of field-sales calls required to close a sale is also considerably lower when those leads initiate at an exhibition. The survey indicates that 54 percent of sales initiated from an exhibition lead require three or fewer sales calls to close. However, the survey also shows that 61 percent of sales initiating from sources other than an exhibition require more than three sales calls to close.

Overall, closing a sale with a prospect from an exhibition versus one found in the field saves you $914 per prospect. According CEIR research, it costs $2,188 to close a sale with an exhibition lead (including the average of $96 to identify a prospect at an exhibition and $2,092, which is the average cost of 3.5 sales calls to the prospect). In comparison, it costs $3,102 to close a sale without an exhibition lead (including the average of $443 to identify a prospect without the aid of an exhibition, and $2,659, which is the average cost of 4.5 sales calls to the prospect).

- Genny Nelson, research project coordinator, Center for Exhibition Industry Research, Dallas

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