Your job is not complete when the trade is over. Have you thought about the ROI from your exhibition booth at the trade show? Sadly, many people neglect to calculate their ROI, when it is one of the most important things they must do.

Let us see the reasons why you are not able to calculate the ROI from your trade show. Maybe your sales are not forthcoming about which leads are converted into sales, maybe you have not created a unified database to track it. Or it could simply be that you do not have the time to track it down. Calculating the ROI from your trade show is like rocket science, though it can be a lot of work.

Here is how you can measure the ROI from your trade show.

Go through all your lead generation slips or lead cards from each trade show and put all the data in one place. If there is too much data to process at once, collect data from the most important (the largest or the biggest) trade shows that you have visited. You can put all the data in excel.

Make a list of your customers

Somewhere in your company files, is a list of all the people who have brought your products or services. It may already be in a neat database, or it may be in your invoices or the warranty files, but it is there. If you do not have access to is, ask your boss for it. Your boss will be happy with you for being proactive.

Make a list of all the people who visited your trade booth, who are also your customers. Make an excel file, name a column as ‘Bought’ and add them to it. In the next column, add how much sales they have given you.

How to calculate ROI

Add up the total sales from a show. Calculate how much money you have spent on the show. Suppose you have spent \$10,000 and have received sales of \$100,000, then your ROI is \$100,000/\$10,000 or 10 is to 1. You can use this as your yardstick to compare which shows to participate in and which shows to drop.

Keeping track of repeat or new business

Keep note of the date when a lead from your trade show bought your products of service. Were they already buying from you before the show? This means you have influenced a repeat client. Did they repeat their orders after they came to the show? If yes, add up all their sales and not only the first one. Did a lead buy for the first time after coming to the show? This means you have just earned a new client.

Keeping track of segments and products