4 Steps to Measuring Your Trade Show ROI

There have been several good discussions recently regarding trade show return on investment and return on objective (ROO). ExhibitorOnline magazine just published a great article on How to Measure the Value of a Trade Show Program.

The article shows how the process Coca Cola uses to evaluate their trade show success, and focuses on 4 key metrics:

  1. Revenue
  2. Cost Savings
  3. Customer relationships
  4. Promotions

They walk through how they analyze each step, and then generate a spreadsheet to compare overall results. They color code each of the information sources within your organization, and calculate the pay-back ration of a particular show.

Coca Cola uses this analysis to compare the payback ratios of different trade shows and decide which ones to attend, how important they are, how much to invest, etc.

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We’ve reviewed other ways to measure trade show performance and there are many other discussions online. The difficulty in assessing return on investment of a trade show program is that, like the spreadsheet above, it wants a answer expressed in dollars. However, trade shows, like long term sales and marketing efforts, are primarily about relationships – creating new ones, strengthening existing ones. While the analysis above attempts to place a monetary value on relationship management, it is a difficult task and it’s not clear if this analysis really accomplishes its goal. However, it’s definitely a step in the right direction, and provides a good starting point for our own efforts to analyze trade show performance.

For more, check out how to boost your trade show ROI or if jargon is killing your trade show ROI

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