trade show roi

Measuring Trade Show ROI: A Brief Guide

March 30, 2023

Trade shows offer businesses a unique opportunity to gain exposure and connect with potential clients in their respective industries. Participation comes at a cost, however, in terms of both time and money. In this guide, learn the foundations of measuring trade show ROI and how to maximize your success during future events.

Contact our team at Oser Communications Group before your next big event. We’ll help improve your company’s trade show performance. Learn more about our services by calling 520-721-1300.

Calculating Trade Show ROI

Your return on investment, or trade show ROI, measures the amount of revenue generated by the trade show compared to the expenses of your company’s participation. Expenses include everything from transportation and lodging, promotion and trade show advertising, exhibition fees, and incidental expenses. To calculate immediate ROI, use this formula: 

Total gross sales ÷ Cost of attending the trade show 

For instance, a trade show that generated $100,000 in gross sales with $20,000 in incurred expenses would result in a dividend of “4.” Express your ROI as a ratio, in this example, 1:4, meaning your company generated $4 for every $1 invested. In this case, your sales exceeded your total investment, which amounts to a positive ROI.

Attracting Potential Leads

Measuring ROI at a trade show event should focus on the particular needs of your industry. Garner interest from your target audience by investing in pre-show promotions. 

Showcasing specific features about your products and services online or through social media before the event gives your followers more incentive to visit your exhibit and can increase foot traffic from desired leads during the actual event, according to recent trade show statistics.

Determining Objectives

Before attending a trade show, start by defining your company’s marketing agenda or sales goals by answering basic yes or no questions. Would you like to create 200 qualified leads at your next event? Maybe your company aims to collect 100 new business cards or reach a certain hard sales number. 

Unlike trade show ROI (return on investment), return on objective measures how your company’s participation at a trade show helped meet these objectives or not. Establishing your objectives and reason for attending a trade show will help anticipate your ROI and measure your overall success after the event.  

Tracking Leads

A trade show program gives you access to a customer relationship management system (CRM), which allows you to input information about your leads during the event. 

CRM apps provide valuable trade show metrics regarding your potential clients during an event. For example, you can perform surveys for your customers and ask what initially attracted them to your exhibit or how likely they are to recommend your product to friends in the future.  

Your CRM can also track which customers contribute to your company’s revenue. 

Want to Enhance Your Trade Show ROI?

Over the last six decades, our team at Oser Communications Group has served business startups and Fortune 500 companies in Tuscon, AZ, as the premier source for trade show advertising. Increase your trade show effectiveness by contacting us at 520-721-1300.

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