Measuring Your Trade Show’s ROI

Take a look at how you can measure the results of your latest trade show, and decide if it’s the right fit for your business.

Each time you exhibit at a trade show, you are investing a good deal of time, effort, and money into the process of generating leads for your business. To get the most out of your trade show budget, you need to have a system in place for figuring out exactly what you are getting back from your trade show investment. You need to have a solid understanding of what your last trade show’s ROI was, because you can’t afford to spend time at a show that isn’t helping your business grow and profit. Here we share some of the best ways to measure the success of your latest trade show.

measuring your tradeshows roi


To make sense of the results of your trade show, you first need to take a look at some pre-show metrics.

First and foremost, you should have a pretty good idea of what you will be spending on this trade show. There may be expenditures that you don’t see coming, but by and large you should know what you are budgeting for. Take into account booth space, travel, and other relevant expenses, but also include any pre-show promotion. These promotions can go a long way towards getting potential leads to your booth, and including them in your expenses will help you analyze what is working and what isn’t after the show.

You should also look into the attendance breakdown before your show. Knowing who will be there and whether or not they fit into your market is an important aspect of your pre-show measurements. Are you going to the show because it’s big, or because you think the audience shows more potential for leads?


So you’ve exhibited, packed up, and gone home. Now is the time to break down each part of your trade show investment and see if it matches up favorably with your pre-show estimates.

Take a look at that budget that you made before the show. Were there areas that had a significant difference? Figuring out where you spent more than you wanted to, and why that happened, is one of the best ways to decide whether or not that trade show was worth it.

Now take a look at the potential growth that your trade show generated. How many new leads did you get from the show? Compare the cost of obtaining those contacts with other options for gaining clients.

The overall ROI from your trade show may take awhile to fully calculate, but using these metrics can get you a good idea soon after the show. After that it’s up to you to decide whether or not you are getting the results you want from that trade show. If you aren’t seeing those results, then it may be time to shake things up in your booth design, or simply find a new trade show that better fits your company’s needs.


Finding the right trade shows for your business isn’t always an easy process. You may find yourself at a show that doesn’t fit your needs, but if you evaluate each show before and after exhibiting, you’ll find that your misfires will be few and far between.


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