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It’s well known there are many benefits of exhibiting at a trade show. In fact, tradeshows and events are the 2nd most effective method of marketing after your company’s website. Exhibiting can bring you business and generate buzz, but how exactly do you measure the ROI and, is ROI the only thing measured that determines the success of your booth? 

Today we’re showing you the best ways to measure your exhibitor booths ROI and success. By the end of this article you’ll have all the answers to the questions above, learn how to measure exhibitor ROI as well as 5 ways to determine if exhibiting was a success. Let’s get started! 

Source: Northwest Event Show

What is Exhibitor ROI? 

Before we dive into measuring exhibitor ROI, we need to define it. In business, return on investment (ROI) is one of the most common measures of success. It’s a metric used to calculate the financial success of a project, investment, or in this case, an exhibitor booth at an event or tradeshow. 


In its purest form, ROI is the value divided by the cost of your investment. 

Why do you need to measure Exhibitor ROI? 

Understanding how to measure exhibitor ROI allows you to show the value of investing in a trade show or event. 84% of marketing professionals are under pressure to prove ROI to justify budgets for campaigns and initiatives. 

At the end of the day, your executive team wants to make sure that your exhibitor booth makes sense for the company’s bottom line. Proving ROI will help you get future exhibitor budgets approved, and demonstrate marketing success to your leadership team. 

Exhibitor ROI - Calculating

How to Measure Exhibitor ROI – Start With Goals 

There are many ways to measure your ROI. To decide the best for you you’ll need to determine what you want to achieve by exhibiting. Ask yourself, what is your desired outcome? Think about why you decided to exhibit in the first place. Was there a specific purpose or goal you had? Are you looking to increase brand awareness? Launching a new product or service? Do you want to exhibit for lead generation and sales conversions? Once you understand the purpose behind exhibiting, you can set up goals to help measure ROI. 

When you set your goals, make them specific. It’s critical to success. If your goals aren’t concrete, you won’t be able to measure them. 

Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. 

  • Specific 
  • Measurable 
  • Attainable 
  • Realistic 
  • Time-Based 

Ways to Measure Exhibitor ROI 

Now that you have your goals, you can measure your exhibitor ROI. While the standard formula for measuring ROI is pretty cut and dry, there are many ways you can measure value beyond it. 

ROI doesn’t always come in the form of dollars. There are other ways to measure your booth success to make sure you are getting value from exhibiting. We’ll explore the most common and not-so-common ways below! 

Exhibitor ROI Revenue 

Figuring out your profit margin is the most common way to measure ROI. As we mentioned above, this is the gold standard within business. To find your profit margin take the revenue generated and divide it by the cost of exhibiting. 

It’s a simple way to see your overall profit margins and a good starting point to determine the value. However, if you aren’t selling a product onsite or have a longer sales cycle this formula might not be applicable immediately. In these cases below are some ways to gauge the success faster. 

Leads Generated 

Make sure you have a way to capture leads at your booth. But don’t just capture names and emails, be sure to ask qualifying questions on your form to determine if a booth visitor is a good fit for your business and a qualified lead. To find the number of leads generated simply add up the number of leads that your company has collected at your booth and on the tradeshow floor. 

Close Rate 

It’s great to get leads at your exhibitor booth, but how many of your trade show leads actually turned into a sale? Did people only fill out your forms to get some free swag or are these qualified leads that were ready to do business and close on a deal? 

To determine your close rate take the number of deals closed from your booth, then divide that number by the amount of leads you generated at the show. Finally, multiply that number by 100 to calculate your close rate percentage. 

Average Sale Value 

Did you know 46% of trade show attendees are in executive or upper management roles? Exhibiting at the right trade show for your brand allows you to get in front of decision-makers from companies that can bring in a higher sales value. 

To measure average deal value, first, take the value of sales generated from your exhibitor booth leads. Next, add them up and average them. The average you find is the average deal value. Was it higher or lower than your typical average sale? If it is higher, this indicates the trade show is bringing in higher-value deals and signals a good investment. 

Measure Brand Awareness 

Exhibiting at industry trade shows can help position your brand as a category leader. In addition, having a booth allows you to gain visibility and introduce your brand to new people that otherwise wouldn’t have heard about your company. But how can you measure the impact? 

Look at the number of attendees who visited your booth, use a custom booth hashtag, and measure social performance. Finally, watch your website traffic, newsletter subscriptions, and social media followers after the trade show to see if there is a spike. 

Learn From Your Findings

Now that you know how to measure exhibitor ROI, you’re well on your way to success. Proving ROI is one of the hardest parts of event marketing, but you must know how to measure it. 

Use this information to calculate your trade show ROI and learn from your findings. Then, leverage your results to plan for a better exhibitor experience with an even better ROI next time! 

Are you ready to become an exhibitor and gain valuable returns on your investment? Apply now to exhibit at the Northwest Event Show. It’s a great opportunity to jump-start your business, gain exposure, and positively impact the bottom line!