From renting floor space to designing and building your booth, the costs involved in exhibiting at a tradeshow can quickly add up. Even a small tradeshow can cost your business a five-figure sum, particularly if it's located in another city.

Because tradeshows require such a significant investment, it's essential to measure not just how much you spend on a tradeshow but also how much you earn as a result of the event.

We recently surveyed business owners and marketing managers and found that almost 50% don't measure the ROI of their tradeshow activity.

Measuring the ROI of your tradeshow marketing is slightly more complicated than tracking and measuring online marketing ROI. However, with the right strategy and tools, you can get a clear picture of how much profit your next event produces.

In this brief guide, we'll break down the process of tracking your tradeshow ROI into an easy four-step system that any business—from a partnership to a large enterprise—can use to learn how much profit each of its tradeshows is producing.

Step 1: Define your metrics and marketing goals

Iconic management consultant Peter Drucker, known to many as the inventor of modern management, had a great quote about measuring ROI that far too many marketers seem unaware of: "What gets measured gets managed."

Many businesses make the mistake of setting vague, incalculable goals before tradeshows and other events. Without a clear and quantifiable goal, it's impossible to tell whether your tradeshow was a success or a failure.

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image of Peter Symonds

Peter Symonds is a tradeshow marketing expert from Display Wizard, which supplies exhibition stands, roller banners, and other promotional materials for use at tradeshows and events.

LinkedIn: Peter Symonds