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Calculating ROI for Trade Shows and Experiential Marketing Exhibitions

Live events, exhibitions and trade shows, once seen as an obvious marketing pillar, is now, amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, an industry that offers more questions than answers. In other words, the future of event marketing has its doubters.

Yet, we’re here to help you overcome any worries or concerns in that area. After all, as marketing expert Joe Pine said:

“From now on, leading-edge companies – whether they sell to consumers or businesses – will find that the next competitive battleground lies in staging experiences.”

Where can you stage an experience more directly than a trade show or industry-related event? Especially in a world ravaged by a pandemic, experiential opportunities are more necessary than ever. And yet, as so many of us have thought (and what is one of the oldest stories in the trade show business): Exhibitors avoid some events because the show’s managers or organizers failed to truly prove value (i/e get enough leads), while those managers say that there were plenty of leads, but that the exhibitors simply didn’t know what to do with them. Sound familiar?

So, who is correct?

We could open up the proverbial can of worms (and an unending, circular argument) here by siding with either side. What we do know for sure is that it depends, initially on the show in question, and the general popularity of the event. When there is even an above-average number of attendees, however, we would say that it has always been incumbent on the show manager to prove the value of buying space on the show floor.

But how can they do that?

They need to talk numbers, previous participation, the number of slots sold, how competitive the pricing is for their vendors, and so on. They need to convince participants that the expense of the booth is going to yield a high enough ROI to be worthy of the cost and effort.

Is it really down to the manager or other entity to prove that it is entirely worthwhile?

In a word: No.

There are a lot of moving parts inside the answer to the question of who is responsible for making an industry event a successful endeavor, but one area that just cannot be overlooked is the role that those who pay for space, also known as management, must take. And while it might be argued that too many factors make even the best booth or display a failure, technologies and time have caught up.


Events no longer have “dead spaces” or poor performance zones. There are devices and technologies, such as FastSensor for Events, that can not only measure and analyze your current impact, but also improve on-site engagement, performance, and the overall audience experience. They can ensure that any booth is worthy of the investment.

FastSensor for Events

This is where FastSensor enters the equation. In a trade or event booth, FastSensor will provide everything from:

• Foot traffic analysis (walk-by, visitors, browsers, engagers, devices)

• Attraction by area

• Brand awareness (time-in-view, total impressions, customer engagement)

• Display testing (attraction, display engagement)

• Average area dwell time

• Traffic flow analysis

With your participation in a single event, you have the kind of event data needed to see just how your audience engages with every aspect of your product, service, brand, or display. It unveils patterns that you would not be able to track manually, and it qualifies leads so you can see greater, real ROI from participation in events of any size.

By understanding how your audience behaves in real-time and adapting to their patterns and needs, you can make your booth well worth the time, money, and effort invested into it, and yield measurable outcomes, understand the cost of acquisition, and gauge authentic ROI.


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