5 Quick Metrics To Determine Exhibit ROI
Exhibiting at a trade show, a convention, an expo or other event is often expensive. With costs like travel, show fees, and branded giveaways, as well as booth designing and building, exhibiting can eat up a significant portion of your organization’s marketing budget. So, how can you measure the return on your trade show investment? Most broadly, every brand is unique, and the value that one business generates from trade show participation may be entirely different from another. However, there are five quick metrics that can be standardized across most trade show experiences to determine a basic trade show ROI:
Foot traffic refers to the number of people entering and exiting your exhibit. Whether an inline, peninsula, or island, sensors can be installed at one or multiple points to record entry and exit from the booth. They can even be installed at the top of the stairs to see how many people visited your double-deck! Advanced types of flooring can also track footsteps and movement for additional insights on your square footage.
This goes beyond the dreaded badge scan. These are your new LinkedIn connections, business cards collected, and conversations started. These are your (qualified) leads and solid network/industry connections – not just people who signed up for your mailing list to get a free stress ball or USB power bank.
Do you have a hashtag tied to an epic Instagram-able moment in your booth? A build-it-yourself art mural? A chalkboard for in-booth statements about your products? A sample counter? An in-booth theater presentation? Awesome! How many people are participating and engaging with your activation, whatever it may be? In a more traditional light, this could also be how many meetings you have scheduled vs how many actually take place as well as their outcomes.
Now we’re talking! For retail and other direct-to-customer exhibitors, this is fairly straight-forward: it is the number of on-site sales or purchase orders and the revenue generated from them. The moolah. Usually for B2B exhibitors, this can be a bit more varied to include not only on-site sales but also vendor contracts, partnerships, and other agreements.
If you’re starting a business, launching a new product, or rebranding, your goal may simply (or not so simply) be awareness. One straightforward way to measure this is the number of attendees and exhibitors at your event. You could also look at the views and interactions (likes, clicks, shares) on your social media posts regarding the show, any referral traffic from the event site to your website, etc. The readership of trade show publications or press releases that mention the show and your brand could also be useful.