To Exhibit or Not to Exhibit – Five Event Marketing Metrics to Consider

Jim Ekstrand

Ahh, the age-old question plagued many an event marketer’s mind: to exhibit or not exhibit. So much of what contributes to an event’s overarching success (and even to the event’s ROI) can be traced back to the event details. Things like attendee make-up, the time of the event, the location for in-person events, the easy use of technology for virtual events, and more can go a long way in making an event successful.

Here are some critical metrics to consider when you’re looking to decide whether or not to exhibit at the next big event that comes across your desk:

1. Quality of attendees:

Before an event, take a look at the attendee list. Are there a good number of prospects and/or current customers on there? Are the job titles/company names in line with your ideal buyer profile? Look for events with attendees that make sense for your business so that it’s easier to connect and engage.

2. Cost (of everything!):

With your event budget in mind, do a soft calculation of the costs this event will run. Remember to include exhibiting fee, equipment, attendee ticket costs, and, for in-person events, travel and meal costs. Trust us; these fees can run up quickly without realizing it.

3. Event overlap:

Does the event have anything in common with another event on your calendar? Is there a significant overlap in the attendees between the two? If so, you should be asking yourself if your team really needs to be at both events or if you can safely sit one out.

4. Brand awareness opportunities:

One of the biggest reasons to pay to exhibit at any event is to take advantage of the promotional opportunities available. Make a careful comparison of your event option’s promotional packages to see which one best fits with your overarching goals.

5. Ask questions!

You’ve done your research and narrowed down your list. If you’re still not convinced you understand which events are best for your company to focus their attention on, ask the people who organize them! They can give you tons of great information on attendees, other vendor’s success stories, and more.

How do you currently decide which events to participate in?

Honestly, every marketing team approaches event selection in a bit different way. However, one thing not to do is to continue to attend the same event, year after year, without any actual results. Your team should have clear, tangible evidence that an event is successful to warrant returning the following year. Without these numbers, it’s probably a good idea to sit things out and spend your time and money in a more productive space.

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To Exhibit or Not to Exhibit – Five Event Marketing Metrics to Consider

Jim Ekstrand
Jim Ekstrand


Event Marketing
Event ROI
Event Metrics & Data
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