“Trade Show Metrics requires creativity when asked, “What’s the ROI?”

At one time or another, after an event, we are asked, “What’s the ROI?”  If you cannot follow a lead generated from the event to the ultimate sale, you cannot measure true ROI.  Maybe your lead time is too long or you are an integrated marketer so you cannot identify the first contact source.  But don’t fret, you can conduct, “potential ROI analysis”.


Heres’ a 3 step process:

(1) Categorize all the leads generated into A, B, and C leads.  A leads have the highest potential to close into a sale in the shortest time frame. B leads have good potential to close, but they are missing one or more key elements, like timing of the need or approved budget for the purchase. C leads are those looking for general information and will take a longer time to close, if ever.

(2) Take each A lead and assign a potential sales or dollar value and time frame for closure.  For example, if an A lead we generated at Exhibitor 2012 is interested in a trade show training / StaffPrep program in July at a national sales meeting, we would assign a value base on what we sell that program for.  You do the same by assigning a value for each of your A leads.

(3) Sum all the “potential values” of the A leads and divide by the exhibiting investment.  The result is the potential ROI for that event.


Example:  25 A leads have the summed potential value of $250,000. The investment in the event was $45,000.  Therefore you have a “potential ROI”. That means you have a 5.5:1 ROI  or you can expect $5.50 for every $1 you invested as a potential return on this exhibiting investment.


Get creative when asked about trade show metrics.  The answer is not always obvious.

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