Frank Addante of Rubicon Project Talks About ROI from Tradeshows

I’ve written in the past about the good and the bad of using trade shows and conferences as a customer engagement tool.

Frank Addante of The Rubicon Project uses his blog to talk about why they brought basically the whole company up to ad:tech in SF from LA, what it cost and what the ROI is. A few of the key points:

Things we did to make a big splash without spending big cash:

1. Designed a slick booth –ourselves– Marwan, our VP of Brand and Creative, literally designed the booth on the back of a postcard at a restaurant in NYC after ad:tech NY. He did an amazing job! (see pictures below)
2. Do NOT hire local booth talent – it is expensive, ineffective and insulting to your brand (see: Why Booth Babes Are a Mistake)
3. We brought 40 people gave them branded clothes – it was like having 40 walking billboards (avg. cost per person: $200)
4. Shared hotel rooms (cut costs in half), stayed at the Holiday Inn (budget hotel), carpooled instead of flying (less expensive)
5. Threw a party, largely sponsored by StrongMail Systems, Clearstone Ventures and Om Records (big impact, low cost) – thank you to our sponsors!
6. Re-used materials (such as the video from our website)
7. Did very little printing (saves trees and cost.) We kept collateral to one half-sheet which featured a “free music” card (which, by the way, the free music was sponsored, no cost to us – thank you to our partner, Om Records!)
8. Focused on the primary goal: get leads (we brought home 1,800 leads in 2 days, almost half of what we acquired in the past 6 months)
9. Trained the team well (our people, engaging with real customers and prospects) – priceless.
Check it out for the full context. Well done.


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