Evaluation Of A Tradeshow ROI

John Follett

Determining the return on investment, or ROI, of a tradeshow requires an understanding of many numbers. The reason this ROI is important is because it reinforces the understanding that every dollar spent at a tradeshow must have a purpose and be accounted for.

If you are to have good numbers to evaluate your tradeshow ROI after the show is over, it is important to have the right accounting metrics in place. Tracking costs for a tradeshow is not always easy. Labor costs seem straightforward when it comes to contractors, but your employees are a different story. If your company is like thousands of others, then your staff will often be multitasking.

Tradeshow ROI Evaluation


That is why timesheets that indicate where staff hours are to be assigned are so important in tradeshow accounting. The same goes for the use of company equipment and any consumables that are purchased and shared with other events. Equipment and materials that are used for the tradeshow should be assigned a cost in the tradeshow spreadsheet.

All other external costs must be accurately accounted for as well. This is why a tradeshow is run like a project, with the event manager as a project manager. Cost codes are applied and exact costs are determined for each and every show. Good accounting always makes it easier to justify tradeshows and determine spending for the coming year.

The return on a tradeshow can be even more difficult to determine. You can work out a system with your sales staff where each product sold as a direct result of the tradeshow can be tracked, but you may find that number to be small. The best approach is to monitor the increase in activity as associated with the contacts made at a tradeshow.

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