Bottom-line results are the most difficult to measure and to track at a trade show, primarily because you don’t usually close the sale on the show floor. Typically, your leads go straight to the sales department. Then, depending on the length of the sales cycle, it may take months or even years to turn into an actual sale. Unless you’re meticulous about tracking, it may be extremely difficult to track it back to the original trade show lead.

Instead of waiting to measure profitability generated from a show, consider making a reasonable guesstimate using your sales department’s past experience. With the help your sales manager, try the following:

1.  Identify your hot leads, i.e., those prospects who are genuinely interested in a sales follow-up after the show

2. Ascertain your company’s average closing ratio as a percentage.

e.g., 1 in 5 = 20%.

3.  Find the average value of a sale or sales contract. Then calculate your estimated bottom line:

Number of hot leads x Average closing ratio x Average value of a sale = Estimated Bottom-Line Results


Written by Susan A. Friedmann, CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, Lake Placid, NY, working with exhibitors and meeting & event planners to improve their event success through coaching, consulting and training.