Is your aim at an exhibition to have a killer booth that tears shreds off your competition and is THE place to be?

Are you guilty of judging the success of a show by how it FEELS?

It’s totally OK if this is you… People really struggle with this and they aren’t always sure where to draw the line in the sand when calculating ROI.

While calculating too much can send you into a spin. Not calculating enough means you can’t benchmark your success at future shows.

I really want people to start getting serious about their attendance so today I’ve included a special Bonus Download to help work out one of the most important (and forgotten figures).

You didn’t ask for it, but my belief is…. Those who don’t work out their ROI probably don’t really want to really know the answer. I’ve noticed that these people are usually also the ones who go to a show “because they have to”. They’re the ones who are doing what they’ve always done and have practically given up already. 

At the end of the day, you should be going to an event to make PROGRESS.

… Profit… leads… brand awareness because you’re new to the market?

Whatever you pick as your number one mission, calculating your exhibit return on investment is an important part of the process.

Sticking your head in the sand and NOT measuring means you don’t learn ANYTHING because you can’t honestly highlight areas that went poorly (or well, for that matter).

Even if fewer people are attending a show, you might find that the quality has gone up.

Just because people aren’t spending as much time at each show, doesn’t mean they have less of an impact. (There are so many touch points to a sale these days, but most of them are online experiences. Face-to-face marketing isn’t ever going to die). If anything, we are going to value human interactions much more in the future.

It’s worth noting that many visitors are managing their time more. They tend to decide which stands they plan to visit before they even step foot in the show!

To work out the cost of the show, consider your space booking, cost of your exhibit, marketing expenses, freight, travel and expenses and giveaways.

In determining your exhibition ROI I recommend also incorporating your KPI’s and your staff time.

One of THE most important numbers to track

Knowing your staff hourly rate does two things…

… It highlights the true cost of your conversations

… Helps keeps your staff on point at the show

Below I’ll describe how to do the jungle maths, but if you want the easy option, download the BONUS HERE and you can drop in your figures. Easy peasy!

Interaction capacity

This is the maximum number of people you can comfortably talk to during a show. This vital number is often not considered when looking at the true cost of a show.

I recommend contacting the organiser of a show to find out how many of your target market attended their last show. 

For this example, let’s assume 450 people.

To Calculate

Multiply No. of hrs show open    X    No. staff    X    No. of interactions/hr per person
3 days / 6 hrs per day / 2 staff / 10mins each so 6 per hr per person
18hrs x 2 staff = 36
36 x 6 interactions = 216 is your interaction capacity

This shows us, you will miss out on 234 potential interactions at this event.
You have several options: Spend less time with visitors, more staff, or another way to get your message across.

Cost per hour

Total show investment divided by No. of staff hours
Budget $15,000 divided by 36 = $416.66 per hour

Cost per interaction

Budget divided by 216 = $69.44 per interaction

Do these calculations before the show for cost analysis, then after the show on the revenue side. Then compare with attendance at other shows.

The magic happens in the analysis

Using this type of thinking you really should then work out the cost of your leads and how much business you got as a result.

You want to look at how many were good leads (and how many weren’t), which moved ahead at that show, 3mths, 6mths after…

Did your staff speak to enough people? If not, why not? Were numbers low because you were under staffed (or the wrong staff)?
…Or was it because your message wasn’t articulated properly?
…Or not enough of your target market at that show?
…A poor stand position?

Think broad and really question your numbers.

Yes, super nerdy… But oh so important!

This is the level of thinking that SHOULD be done before deciding whether it’s the show that’s not working or your approach.

If you’re maths skills are as **good** as mine, you might like this BONUS with all the formulas in it!
You’re welcome 🙂