Main OTC logo

Celebrating 50 years

6 -9 MAY 2019    ///    NRG PARK    ///    HOUSTON, TEXAS, USA

Exhibitor ROI

Exhibitor ROI

Exhibitor ROI

It's important to us that exhibitors get the most they can out of OTC each year they attend, so this year we have partnered with a company to offer our exhibitors an Exhibitor Education program to help you improve your results at OTC. Below you will find webinars and tips that can help guide you along your journey to obtaining optimal ROI and quality leads. 

Also, feel free to check out the Exhibitor Marketing Toolkit to see the variety of tools we have to offer. These tools, along with utilizing the provided education, can greatly increase your ROI if implemented properly! 


5 Quick Tips to Boost Quality Traffic:
In this webinar, you’ll learn about ways to boost your quality booth traffic. Strategic pre-show marketing is the key for any exhibitor, regardless of booth size or budget. Start incorporating more OTC-related messages in your marketing now to build momentum gradually. To watch the webinar, click on the button below and enter the password.

Password: OTC-31419


Tips for boosting ROI

Setting Goals

OTC19As an exhibitor at OTC 2019, you have big goals - generate quality leads, connect with your current clients, raise awareness for your brand/offerings, etc. - but, how will you know if you’ve done enough to make your participation “worth it”?

I recommend setting two (more specific) goals: a needs goal and a wants goal.

Your needs goal is your breakeven point. By calculating how much you’ll spend on exhibiting at OTC 2019, you can then say exactly what you need to accomplish to break even. With the right strategies, this should be a relatively easy goal to attain.

Your wants goal is a huge potential “point of pride” that’s a bit of a stretch. By brainstorming your best case scenarios (for what you want to accomplish, both individually and as a team), you’ll have all the motivation you need to finish the event strong… and, in many cases, accomplish more than you thought you could.

NOTE: It will be much tougher to evaluate your efforts post-show, if you don’t know what you need and want to accomplish pre-show. By creating your evaluation plan today, you can decide what hard and soft data to collect each step of the way.

Pre-Show Marketing

OTC19Trade shows, like OTC 2019, should be a piece of your larger marketing pie. This means, you should be communicating with your audience on an on-going basis, by email and phone, by direct mail and social media, and, yes, through OTC and other relevant events too.

So, when you think about strategic pre-show marketing, it’s really just as simple as a shift in the conversation you’re already having with a very specific segment of your overall audience (starting to discuss OTC-related topics more, with the professionals who are likely to attend OTC 2019).

Here’s the key: strategic pre-show marketing isn’t (really) about you… it’s about your audience. Your main goal should be to help them help themselves (by visiting you at OTC). Notice how the focus is on “helping” and “them”? That’s how your outreach and supporting content should be too!

NOTE: It’s always too early to engage OTC attendees with pre-show marketing that isn’t strategic. If your plan is primarily to “promote, promote, promote,” you are more likely to damage your reputation than help it. Again, your pre-show marketing isn’t (really) about you, it’s about your audience – focus on adding value and your OTC-related communications will be welcome."

See webinar that accompanies this tip above: 5 Quick Tips to Boost Quality Traffic!

Traffic Generation Techniques

OTC19When I was in college, I had a professor who used to say “in engineering, the greatest constraint is time” and what I’ve learned, while working with exhibitors since then, is that the same thing is true for trade shows.

When you get to OTC 2019, you’ll have a limited amount of time available to connect with the select group of professionals who can help you achieve your exhibiting goals. If you utilize the strategies we discussed in last week’s webinar, you’ll be able to attract more of the right professionals into your booth (plus, with proper follow through, facilitate more productive interactions and enjoy more substantial returns)… that’s the good news. 

The bad news is, if you want to spend more of your time with the right people, you also have to commit to spending less of your time with the wrong ones. In other words, you’ll have to start saying “no” to things like boasting about vanity metrics (i.e. total number of visitors, whether they’re qualified or not), giveaways that don’t have a direct tie in to your brand/messaging or event-specific audience, and lengthy “catching up” conversations with irrelevant industry friends during exhibit hours, to name a few.

NOTE: It’s easy to say you want quality over quantity (because we know that’s what produces real business value), but it can be tough to enforce the changes necessary to create that result on your own… find an internal champion who will support your strategic decisions, even when they aren’t popular or “how you’ve always done things.”

Supporting Your Goals

OTC19 Exhibitors often think that, if only they had a bigger budget, everything would be easier and they’d be more successful; however, a bigger budget isn’t a magic wand... Even the biggest companies with the biggest budgets still have to make tough choices and earn their results.

Whether your budget is small or large, the value you obtain through exhibiting at an event like OTC 2019 (with practically limitless spending opportunities) is a direct result of the choices you make and strategic actions you take. Remember: just as you’re not the right fit for every attendee, every event-related item, service, and sponsorship is not the right fit for you.

The easiest way to decide is to look at the bigger picture. First, ask yourself if the investment you’re considering is likely to have a significant impact on your event-specific goals. If yes, ask yourself if you can follow through with the necessary strategic actions to ensure your success. If your answer to either question is no, reconsider the investment.

NOTE: For many professionals, it’s easier to say “we can’t afford that” than it is to say “it’s not a smart investment” – Fortunately, you don’t have to choose. Regardless of your budget size, if something can’t help you accomplish more at OTC 2019, you have to prioritize more appropriate investments… you simply can’t afford not to.

Don't Forget Deadlines

OTC19Every year since the sixth grade, one of my favorite annual activities has been breaking in my new calendar book, adding all of my appointments and ideas for the New Year. Despite the convenience and popularity of digital calendars, there’s still something so special to me about physically mapping out my plans on paper… it makes me feel centered, even when my life feels like it is in chaos.

Now, I say all of that to say this: over the remaining weeks between now and OTC 2019, your life may feel like it's in chaos (don’t worry, that’s totally normal!), so it’s even more important to have a solid plan in place, utilizing whatever calendar system works best for you. Don’t let another day go by without blocking out some time to re-center yourself and re-confirm your priorities.

Any big deadlines, from OTC or your vendors, need to be written down (or typed in)… but that’s not all… Any internal deadlines (conversations you need to have, approvals you need to secure, reminders you need to send, etc.) for your executive team and your support staff also need to be added. Then, add one more (very important) set: your own personal deadlines.

OTC 2019 is a big deal and it may feel all-consuming, but even so, you can’t put your life on hold while you prepare for this event. Make a note of any personal commitments and other non-OTC-related responsibilities. Schedule your tasks (including brainstorming and internal follow up) around those, plus a buffer, so you can still meet your deadlines… just without as much pressure or stress.

NOTE: Next week, I’ll be teaching another Q+A webinar exclusively for OTC 2019 exhibitors to help you prioritize your remaining exhibiting efforts. Make time to get yourself organized, as above, now so you can take full advantage of that webinar, submitting any questions in advance.

Helpful Articles

Tiny Budget, Big Impact? It’s Possible at OTC!

By Robyn at WINH

It’s no secret that exhibiting can be expensive, but with a little strategic creativity, it won’t be hard to make a big impact at OTC (regardless of your budget)… here’s how:

1. Plan ahead to avoid unnecessary fees and enjoy available incentives.

Many event-related products/services offer multiple deadlines, at progressively increasing price points. If you can confirm your decisions “early,” you can enjoy substantial savings (avoiding the late fees or rush shipping charges assessed to other exhibitors who confirm “on time” or “late”).

Also, ask your vendors if you’re eligible for any special incentives. For example, many companies will provide a cost reduction when you pay in full, make a multi-show commitment, or refer a friend… this isn’t a guarantee for all vendors; but, as they say, “if you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”

2. Reallocate funds away from investments that won’t significantly impact your results.

You already know you shouldn’t invest in anything that can’t help you accomplish your event-specific goals, but what about the items that are more neutral? If they’re unlikely to make a significant impact on your exhibiting results, this is another category where you can save easily.

For example, items like trash cans and plants are what I’d call “luxury items” because they’re nice to have, but in most cases, wouldn’t be missed if they weren’t there. If you really want to streamline your budget, cut these out and reallocate the money saved to more meaningful needs.

3. Don’t scrimp on the necessities; splurge on items your audience will appreciate the most.

Switching gears a little… Now that you have some extra room in your budget (thanks to the first two steps), it’s time to shift your focus to smart purchases. In order to prioritize your spending, imagine you could only have one thing in your booth space and that thing would be responsible for your entire attendee experience/event ROI (return on investment). What should it be?

If I had to choose (without knowing anything about you), I’d say prioritize your team. Your audience needs them to be the right mix of knowledgeable and nice to enjoy their experience (and, ultimately, to help you achieve your exhibiting goals). Necessities, then, include travel, lodging, attire, and training, to name a few.

Spend a little more in these areas to help your team feel comfortable enough to do their best work in representing you… but don’t spend so much that it’s not about your audience anymore (after all, there’s a difference between comfort and luxury – once you cross that line, it’s much easier to forget the real purpose of participating: to serve your audience and accomplish your event-specific goals).

4. Respect your budget, especially when you have to tweak it.

If you haven’t done so already, sit down today to determine your budget for OTC. This should be a living document (which means you know it may need to change later on) with clear guidelines for your decision making process.

To ensure your guidelines respect the work put into determining your original budget, focus on two areas: your exhibiting priorities (so that you don’t gain irrelevant components at the expense of essentials) and your key stakeholders (so that any decisions made “stick”). Be as clear as you can in writing your guidelines, as any additional changes may need to be made quickly and/or at the last minute, but can still have the same impact as if they were made earlier with more time for processing.

5. Identify even more ways to prove the value of your participation in OTC.

Many exhibitors have the same big goals for trade shows: generate leads, raise awareness, strengthen relationships, etc. However, with the right strategic efforts, the value you obtain can be much greater and, if your ultimate goal is to generate a real return as a result of your participation, every little piece of value can add up quickly!

For example, here are a few other ways you can generate value:

- Media Coverage: Instead of buying more ad space to maintain your momentum in the coming months, what if you could get an equivalent amount of “earned” media coverage through your presence and engagement efforts at OTC?

- Team Building: Instead of taking your team to an escape room or fancy dinner, what if they could feel closer and more fulfilled (increasing employee satisfaction and retention) through their teamwork at OTC?

- Market Research: Instead of hiring a focus group to get to know your target audience better, what if you could learn about their needs and interests through casual conversation (or more structured surveying) during OTC?

- Content Creation: Instead of spending a few hours per week creating content, what if your team could get inspired by the OTC attendees and agenda to create plenty of content at OTC to share well after this event is over?

In the end, even if exhibiting at a trade show like OTC seems expensive, remember that it can pay for itself many times over, with the right strategic actions. Follow the steps above to maximize your exhibiting budget by reducing irrelevant and unnecessary expenses, increasing your value-oriented investments, and remembering your true purpose for participating every step of the way.

  • "For 50 years, OTC has encouraged scientists and engineers to develop innovative technologies that have unleashed the potential of offshore energy sources needed for global growth and progress."
    —Patrick Pouyanné
    Chairman and CEO, Total
  • "We can never forget that its companies like the 2018 Spotlight Award winners that are driving the technological advancements necessary to propel our industry for the next 50 years."
    —Paul Jones
    Spotlight Award Committee Chair