Trade Show Objectives And Show Metrics

This table below provides you with a guideline of how to connect the objectives with the metrics.

Remember you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

Primary Objective & Associated Metrics

Introduce a new product or service

– Number of demos given
– Number of visitors to booth
– Number of samples ordered
– Number of press mentions
– Number of qualified leads generated by product
– Number of RFP’s requested

Generate Sales Leads

– Number of qualified leads
– Cost per qualified lead

Gather new prospects

– Number of prospects gathered
– Cost per new prospect contact
– Number of new accounts added to the database

Enter new market

– Number of prospects gathered by industry
– Number of qualified leads generated by industry
– Number of RFP’s requested


– Revenue
– Number of transactions closed
– Number of purchase orders signed
– Expense to revenue ratio (E:R)
– Return on Investment (ROI)
– Number of new accounts/customers


– Number of visitors to booth
– Number of demos given
– Number of flyers distributed
– Number of attendees to pass by booth
– Number of visibility opportunities (sessions, events, press conferences, etc.) or number of resulting impressions
– Pre-post show awareness levels
– Number of press mentions

Recruit channel partners

– Number of partners recruited
– Cost per recruited partner
– Geographic penetration of recruited partners

Recruit new employees

– Number of employees recruited
– Cost per new employee
– Employees recruited by skill category

Competitive research

– Number of competitors at the show
– Competitive analyses completed

Market research

– Customer surveys completed
– Focus groups conducted


– Return on investment ratio
– Expense to revenue ratio

Retain current customers

– Number of customer appointments scheduled and held
– Number of new product demos to current customers
– Revenue closed from current customers

Support your industry

– Number of association functions attended
– Dollars invested in association function sponsorships

A word of warning

– Calculate realistic goals

Make sure that if you are connecting the goals to the metrics, that the metrics actually do reflect the reality.

First you need to research the exhibitors guide and talk to show management and other exhibitors.

Lets say you find out that:

– 3000 visitors attended the trade show last year
– 10 % were from your niche
– Of those 300 the show management estimates that 30 – 40 % would be passing your stand during the entire exhibition

Say you’ve got a product you’d like to demonstrate to as many visitors as possible, and the demos takes 10 minutes each, and it takes 2 sales people to man the demo station over 25 hours of back to back demonstration during the show.

Here is how you calculate this out:

300 : 6:2 = 25 hours of demonstration is needed

So the above scenario shows that you can actually do it.

If you only had 20 hours of expo time you would have to make some amendments, e.g. increase the number of sales people doing the demonstration, or reducing the number of demonstrations etc.

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