How to Measure Your CPI to Assess Tradeshow Value


One of the most overlooked values exhibiting at tradeshows delivers is the proven ability to dramatically reduce your Cost Per Interaction (CPI) and thereby save your company money.

According to CEIR research, the average cost of a business-to-business field sales call in North America ranges from $596-$1,114.

One powerful way marketing and exhibit managers can help management better understand and appreciate the value your exhibit program delivers is to measure your Cost Per Interaction at a tradeshow and contrast it with the cost of a field sales call.

Calculating your CPI at a show is easy. All you do is divide your total show investment by the number of interactions executed in your exhibit. Here’s an example:

$15,000 show investment/100 exhibit interactions = $150 Cost Per Interaction

If you were unable to count the numbers of interactions, a quick and easy way to estimate it is to multiply your lead count 2.4 (an industry benchmark-stop to literature ratio).

Example: 42 leads x 2.4 = 100 Interactions

To take your value measurement one step further, deduct your exhibit Cost Per Interaction from the average cost of a field sales call, and multiply it by the number of interactions to show Soft Dollar Return on Investment.

$596 cost of a field sales call – $150 Cost Per Interaction = $446 savings/interaction                         

$446 savings X 100 interactions = $44,600 savings

$44,600 savings / $15,000 show investment = 297% Soft Dollar Return on Investment

This is just one of many ways you could assess the value your exhibit program is delivering.