Driving Success: Turbocharging ROI at Auto Shows

Auto Show Exhibition

Driving Success: Turbocharging ROI at Auto Shows

Auto shows are hugely important to anyone looking to build brand affinity and generate leads. Even with the scaled-down events being put on during COVID and likely to continue, you’re looking at thousands of past, present and/or potential customers. There’s a lot of data to be had, but collecting, reporting and acting on it is a daunting task. And with budgets being squeezed and ROI constantly scrutinized, efficiency is more important than ever.

Working with disparate partners who employ disparate systems means disparate data. That’s not efficient. “You’re not able to compare apples to apples across shows and other events,” says Ian Richardson, Limelight’s VP Strategic Partnerships. “And it makes understanding event executions holistically, in any kind of meaningful time frame, nearly impossible… Marketers can’t see how individual assets or entire campaigns are performing until an event post-mortem is completed.”

When it comes to creating and measuring digital activations at events, the four big pain points are: a broken feedback loop, the inability to make informed adjustments on the fly, poor consumer communications and CRM integration issues. Using the auto show as an example, let’s see how Limelight addresses each one.

You’ve got two touchpoints: contesting and vehicle-specific wheel stands. It’s all going great, until it isn’t. But there’s no need to hit the brakes.

ENGAGE CRUISE CONTROL Fixing the feedback loop

After a few hours, you notice the bounce rate for the contest sign-up is high. Turns out most people are giving up after nine questions, and you’ve got 12. That knowledge allows your team to shorten the questionnaire. By Day 2, your submit rate jumps considerably.

“Clients can use Limelight without having to custom code or lean on a development team or several different partners to make changes,” says Richardson. “You can update as soon as there is some downtime.”

SHIFT GEARS ON-THE-FLY Reacting in real-time

The Limelight dashboard is also showing that something is up with the placement of the contesting kiosks. Despite being stationed in high-traffic areas to maximize exposure, few people are stopping. A little investigation reveals that foot traffic is too high; people feel they’re in the way if they stop. The answer: Move the kiosks.

It may not be possible in the moment, but you’ve got the knowledge to act if it is. At worst, you know what to do for the next day or the next event.

“What’s nice is the events team—the actual boots on the ground, the people who are working the event—can see how people are responding, behaving and interacting in real time,” says Richardson.

ACCELERATE CONNECTIONS Creating effective consumer communications

You’re pleasantly surprised to see that the wheel stands are getting a lot of use. Limelight’s branch logic is sending existing customers on one journey and potential customers on another. The software is also generating automated follow-up emails that are personalized and timely, which can mean same day or timed for optimal engagement. That can lead to an open rate often as much as 10 times higher than what you’ve seen versus a logistically delayed send to people who have opted-in to communications, according to Richardson.

“That’s huge, and it makes sense,” he says “Otherwise, a couple weeks later, I’ve forgotten what I signed up for and I could scroll by it as spam.”

OPEN ROAD Solving CRM issues

All the collected information from your activations—including any identifying questions—is also being passed directly to your CRM to update consumer profiles and alert dealerships of leads and marketing to hand-raisers, making it easy for both sides of the business to drive success.

“Often the CRM team doesn’t want to ever log into Limelight, and that’s fine,” Richardson says. “They want to use their system to see the event leads, in addition to web, social and other channels. And the events team doesn’t want to rely on or may not have access to the CRM system. But now they have access to the consumer data and key metrics to see how events are performing.”


Thanks to Limelight, your feedback loop is humming, your event managers are acting on easily digestible data, your email follow-ups are optimized and all the consumer information is flowing seamlessly into your core CRM in real time.

Congratulations, you’re no longer spinning your wheels.

If you need a simple, scalable way of collecting visitor behavior data in any physical space, we’d love to hear from you and you can follow us here on linkedin for updates.