Techniques to Track your Event ROI

15 Feb, 2020

Creating a brand event at a live event has proven to be one of the strongest marketing tools to build brand awareness, qualify leads and increase sales. As of 2019, the event industry is worth over $325 billion to the global economy*- with such a huge amount of money being invested it is vital to assess the return on your business’ investment (ROI). Not just to ensure the investment was worthwhile but to look deeper into what elements worked well for the future.

In the event industry, it’s not always as simple as measuring financial benefits, especially if the purpose of the stand is to grow brand awareness in the industry. There are a variety of methods to track ROI and due to the unique nature of the event industry, ROI has to be tailored to each individual business and event so must be factored into the creation process. The brand’s main aim should always be the starting point as it allows goals to be set to and compared against in order to determine success.


Technical capabilities have gone above and beyond in the event industry, from selfieccinos to AR and more. New forms of technology enable exhibitors to easily measure ROI by allowing an insight into the delegates experience. Heatmaps consist of discreet sensors located around the stand that identify an individuals’ mobile phone signal tracking (does not access an individual’s private data) a delegate’s journey, dwell time and also total footfall on the stand. Additional options include facial recognition technology to capture visitor gender, age and emotion. Information can then be reviewed via an online portal both during and post-event to uncover hotspots, visitor volume and cumulative time spent on the stand.


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) systems, similar to heatmaps, track visitor interaction in an event space. RFID’s are little tags that communicate with computer software when near one another, similar to that of a contactless debit card and card reader. RFID tags build a map of the delegates path through an exhibition stand and collate information from their journey, for example; whether they interacted with a screen or a game. This gives an insight into what areas of the stand were most popular and had the most interaction time as well as the number of delegates that visited your stand.

Meeting Applications

Events aren’t just focused on beautiful design anymore, there’s a purpose, to network with industry members and clients, confirm deals and build relationships. With such important meetings being held meeting apps easily accessible via an iPad or mobile device allow you organise, orchestrate and track meetings with clients allowing for a smooth day of meetings, as well as holding data for post-event analysis. With data regarding the number of meetings you had, the length of each meeting, topics of conversation and company contact information it’s perfect as a post-show sales and Marketing tool.

Interactive Technology

Heatmaps and RFID systems are a complex technology of effectively managing and tracking your delegates journey on an exhibition stand. However, interactive tools, like touch screens and object recognition tables have “back office” technology that allows you an insight into delegates experience like what they looked at what and how long for.


Of course, one of the most obvious ways to track ROI is just to calculate it, this can be possible if your event stand’s aim is product-based. Allowing the exhibitor to see the financial statistics gives a grounding to the success of the stand. However, if the aim of a stand is to increase brand awareness, then calculating ROI isn’t that simple. In this instance, using social media and Google Analytics to track engagement post-event helps to see if the brand has increased its reach. Even traditional techniques like surveys, feedback forms and the number of business cards collected from delegates can be a gage as to event success. Measuring total event attendance against footfall on your exhibit is a good way of measuring if your stand was a success.


In events often qualitative data from meetings and conversations give more quality of feedback than quantitative data. Face to face interaction and a “human touch” to business can have a huge impact on brand memorability. With so many members of the same industry at one event, it’s an excellent way to network and raise brand recognition/awareness. Although this isn’t always something you can transfer to figures, it brings the opportunity to turn those relationships into potential clients and deals in the future.


A mixture of different ROI methods often can give more accurate data to analyse and give a well-rounded picture of the success of the event. Metrics and Analytics gathered at the event can be combined into a cohesive dashboard for easiest use. The most important step of tracking ROI is ensuring the data is used post-event whether that be for marketing activities, brand and product analytics, customer relationships or simply learning and improving for your next event. Figuring out what elements worked and what elements didn’t to give you an insight into where improvement is needed for your next event.

For more information, or if you want to know what we can do for your next event contact us here.

* according to the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry