The Payback Affair
But the next challenge lies in giving them the confidence and ability to forecast future results. Now they can make smart business decisions based on these forecasts. Using any spreadsheet program, you can sort your shows highest to lowest based on their Payback Ratio.
This will maximize your Payback Ratio. It's likely to include either or both expansions and contractions. For example, perhaps at one of your shows with a middle-of-the-road Payback Ratio, you had strong qualified lead counts. You engaged with nearly the maximum number of attendees that could be expected, given the number of show hours and your booth size.
But you brought 8 booth staffers who each worked the booth for 4 hours of the show. Suggesting to halve the number of staffers invited and have each remaining staffer work the booth 8 hours should drastically lower both your hard costs and opportunity costs while having a negligible effect on the value derived from the event.
- Prices, Specifications - PAYBACK.
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You just raised the Payback Ratio significantly. But your staff interacted with only a small portion of the available target audience at the show. Suggesting a larger booth size and increased investment in sponsorship level for this show could bring an out sized return compared to the additional investment. Being able to effectively and objectively project future results based on historical performance is essential to managing trade show and event schedules and investment levels.
You have the responsibility to research and suggest new shows to participate in and to justify budgetary reallocations to support these new endeavors. Add rows into your measurement spreadsheet to represent your suggested additions to the show schedule.
The Payback Affairs Series by Emilie Rose
Begin assigning suggested budgets for existing shows based on historical performance and investment levels. Adjust up or down to meet the ideal mix of value and cost and allocate budgetary dollars to your suggested additions. You can do this by researching your historical performance at shows with similarly targeted audiences, market reach and relevance. You then add in geographic location, plus any other variables, to calculate an anticipated Payback Ratio. Sort your sheet by show date to look for overlap or potential logistical issues.
Make critical decisions regarding participation level, usage of exhibit assets, and staffing concerns. Update your suggested budgets, projections, and Payback Ratio for each show accordingly. Any shows left unfunded or insufficiently funded through this exercise should be critically evaluated based on qualitative factors and considered for elimination. Establishing effective measurement for the messaging, Advertising, PR, and customer satisfaction value your event efforts produce allows for their side-by-side comparison with other investments.
Trade shows and events have an exponentially higher concentration of targeted audience members than most other forms of advertising and marketing. By establishing the value of the impressions made through trade shows, as well as calculating the cost of achieving similar impressions through other messaging, you create a framework that allows for dissimilar marketing efforts to be evaluated objectively.
For example, the costs of a billboard campaign may be quite palatable. Design an ad and pay to have it displayed on a major roadway your target audience is known to travel. But billboard campaigns are good for multiple 5 to 7 second impressions, at best.
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Compare this to your trade show efforts, where the costs are much higher but where face-to-face interaction with your staff and hands-on interaction with your products can produce much more business value. There are times where trade show and event investments will not be justified under such comparisons. But a rigorous measurement and reporting framework based on the Payback Ratio allows for your efforts to be evaluated on equal footing. It burns a movie image into the brain and can be very difficult to remove. We can spend time analyzing, being angry or in pain about the type of affair: emotional, physical or about how physical it was.
Or we can look at the meaning or symbolism. Why did this happen? How did this happen? What led up to it? What caused it? Was this a way of getting out of a relationship with me?
Or we can look at the effect: betrayal, broken trust, breaking up a family. Why me? Can I ever trust again? Or, we can look at discovering why a person would leave the relationship and start a new one without moving out of the house first…. Many people think an affair is about sex. People can feel lonely in their current relationship. It may be hard to grasp that a person in a relationship can be lonely, but without a solid emotional attachment to a partner, it becomes easier to wander.
It turns out that adults do to. Our need for attachment is why we pursue relationships at all.
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Men tend to get their attachment needs met through sex. Women get a fair amount of their attachment needs met from girlfriends and family. When a man fuses 1 attachment, 2 love, 3 sex and 4 intimacy together and then one of those is off a bit, he will typically think the entire relationship is dying.
So, one goal of therapy is to work toward separation of those four things above, on both emotional and intellectual levels, and learn that one of the four can be low, and that the others are fine, and the relationship is not dead, and improvement is possible.
Talking about an infidelity must be done carefully. The speaker needs to talk slowly, be kind, empathetic and compassionate about the effect on the listener. The listener must be curious, and listen carefully, without getting highly emotionally reactive. If one person gets heated, that person needs to take a time-out. You need to breathe, slow down, and express emotion gently. I think that means something about our lack of connection or something, and I think we need to talk about this..