ROI Calculator

This calculator was built to help you determine which events are likely to produce the greatest ROI for your organization.  This calculator does not include intangible benefits such as advertising or the impact to business development. We suggest using this calculator as a starting point to identify which events are likely to give you the most bang for the buck.

See our guide below to see what assumptions drive this calculator so that you can adjust accordingly.

Event & Travel

What sort of booth will you use?
How many of your people will register for the show or be at the booth?
How many hotel nights will each attendee need?
Is the event domestic or international?
How much money do you allow your employees to spend while travelling on meals and local travel?


How many people are attending this show?
Out of 100 attendees, how many fit your target profile?
What percent of attendees will talk to you at your booth?
Out of 100 qualified potential customers, how many would make a purchase?
On average, how much money do you make from a new customer over their relationship with you?
Estimated Return $

Got a positive number? Then according to our assumptions you should get value from the event.

If it looks like you might not make money directly from this event, try changing your assumptions (booth type, people going, or target audience).

We strongly recommend running this ROI calculator against all of your events and prioritizing by which has the greatest ROI. As you participate in these events, you should be able to see how accurate your conversion assumptions are and modify accordingly.

ROI Calculator Terms & Assumptions



Your costs will vary widely depending on the show, the size of the booth you get and how you appoint it. A 10×10 space is the most common and won’t set you back all that much for just the space itself. For this ROI calculator, we multiply $50 times the total square footage to estimate the cost of the space – assuming you are simply going to print the walls or provide your own portable booth. We estimated the cost of renting or shipping a booth to be about $100 per square foot – to cover the cost of renting and shipping a larger booth and the labor that is involved. For a custom booth, we estimated the cost to be about $150 per square foot as that involves additional design, construction, and labor. Going to a more expensive show? You may want to pad your estimate by selecting a higher level of customization.


The cost of flights, hotels, and per diems can quickly add up. In this calculator we assume that everyone attending the event is registering, flying to the event, and staying one night for each day of the show.

Hotel Nights

We assume that the average hotel room costs $200 per night. This price might be low or high depending on your travel policies (employees may be required to stay at the lowest cost option or select a certain class of hotel), the city, and availability (booking last minute will generally cost more). If you are staying at cheaper or more expensive hotels, subtract or add the difference to the total amount – but make sure you multiply that difference by number of nights.


Domestic and international travel is estimated to be $350 and $1,250 respectively. This estimate is based on a round-trip ticket of moderate distance. If you are travelling on cheaper flights for shorter distances, subtract the difference from your total amount.

Per Diem

Per diem policy refers to the amount that employees are permitted to spend each day of the show. If you expect that your employees will be entertaining, paying for group dinners, or travelling extensively around the area you may want to increase this amount.


This is the number of people who are attending the show – excluding other exhibitors that you can sell your products to. Shows will typically provide this number on their website or you may be able to find this on

Target Audience

It is unlikely that everyone who attends this show is interested in your products or services – especially if you have a very specialized product or a highly specific audience. Similarly, some shows will boost their audience numbers by opening their event to the public and counting public attendance. Shows will usually provide this number of an exhibitor prospectus on ther website, or you may be able to find this on


Unless you are at a very small event, it is unlikely you’ll be able to talk to everybody. This percentage describes what percent of your target audience you’ll have an opportunity to talk to. A quick sanity check would be to multiply attendees by target audience by reach to see. For example if you estimate 10,000 attendees with 25% in your target audience and reach 10% then you will assume that you are going to talk to 250 people – that may be high or low depending on the number of days in your show and the number of people working your booth.

Conversion Rate

Even if you reached the right person, you may have reached them at the wrong time. Conversion rate is the percentage of the people who you talk to that you think will convert into paying customers. This number is typically very low for companies selling expensive items and higher for lower-risk products. Don’t know your conversion rate? Use the conversion rate from your website, ask your sales teams, or use your best judgement. For example, if you assume your conversion rate is 2.5% and you talked to 250 people at the show, would it make sense to you that you converted 6 people?

Customer Lifetime Value

What is your average customer worth? For B2B SaaS companies, this number is typically the annual subscription times the average time they are your customer. If you are in retail, then this will typically be your average purchase value times the purchase frequency. Every company is different, so it is best to talk to a business analyst or your accounting team; however, an educated guess will do if you don’t have those numbers handy.

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We hope you also enjoy our ebook, Building A Better Trade Show. It’s our step-by-step guide to finding new opportunities, creating a budget, and planning for success.

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