The Must-Track Metrics & KPIs at B2B Tech Trade Shows

Tech marketers are used to tracking metrics and report on KPIs (key performance indicators) in the digital world. After all, website traffic, CTRs and CPC are all super easy to calculate, thanks to our friend Google. But what happens when marketing goes old school and offline? How do you measure ROI from your branding strategy or for an in-person technology or software trade show? 

Here are five metrics that your tech company should be tracking to see if those costly events are producing results or wasting time.


Booth Traffic

Your first challenge at a trade show is getting all of those attendees walking past your booth to actually stop. That measurement—the number of people who visit your booth divided by the number who pass by—gauges how effective your trade show promotion and marketing efforts are. 

Did you promote your presence on social media? 

Do you have an engaging booth design or compelling promo? 

All of these marketing tactics will lead to a higher number of visitors.

Since it’s hard to keep count of every person who walks past your space, an easier way would be to count the number of people who meander into your booth and divide that by the total number of conference attendees. True, some of those attendees may never have set foot inside the exhibition hall, but this doesn’t need to be an exact science.

Bonus tip: Want a higher-tech way of tracking booth traffic? Check out companies like Scanalytics who have proprietary sensors to more accurately capture booth visits, average dwell time and bounce rate.



Leads Gathered

Instead of letting the salespeople hoard business cards, tally up the number of leads per rep—plus those left in your prize giveaway dropbox—and see how you did. We recommend using a lead scanning system to ensure you capture contact information from everyone who comes by your booth.   

Bonus tip: Want to measure quality over quantity? Go ahead and rank the leads based on whatever BANT-esque criteria your sales team normally uses. For example, perhaps “A” leads have gone through a full demo at your booth, “B” leads have engaged in a brief conversation and requested a follow-up and “C” leads just handed over cards to get some free stress balls.

Once you’ve ranked everyone, look at the average “lead score” as well as the actual number of highly qualified “A” leads to gauge which sales enablement tactics and tech tradeshows produce the best leads, not just the most.


Cost Per Lead

Already know how many leads will get entered into your CRM once you get back to the office? Divide that into the hard costs of attending the show to get your cost per lead. Don’t just count the fees to exhibit at the event, but also swag, travel, meals and any other associated expenses. 

Bonus tip: Depending on the way you want to calculate this metric, you may also want to “charge back” a portion of the cost to produce the booth itself and/or salaries for time spent manning the booth.


Average Sales Cycle Length

Trade show leads often “feel” more qualified because you’ve gotten to interact with an actual person vs. just an email address…but are they? One way to tell is to measure the length of their sales cycle. If your average deal takes 60 days to close, but leads originating from trade shows take only 30 days, then you’ve shortened your deal cycle by 50%. And that’s a win in any tech company’s book.

Bonus tip: Want to get more granular? You can also measure how fast trade show leads progress to an MQL or SQL, too, not just how long a deal takes to close once they’re an opportunity.


Average Deal Size

Logic might imply that in-person interaction at a trade show would generate larger orders, but is that true? Look at the average deal size of leads that come from trade shows vs. other sources to tell for sure. If your website visitors are signing up for a free demo, but in-person leads are buying premium services, then trade shows are a no brainer, despite their costs.

Bonus tip: If you’re patient, it’s also useful to measure the average LTV (lifetime value) of customers by lead source. This will measure their value beyond the initial order and focus instead on their long-term spend.



Sending teams and shipping booth materials all over the country can be very costly. Make sure you’re accomplishing your goals with every tech trade show your company attends. Although many of the metrics and KPIs mentioned here will take a little longer to materialize, you should track them in year 1 and let it inform your decision to participate in subsequent events. 

Learn how to make the most out of your trade show strategy, check out our “The B2B Sales Enablement Guide for Your Next Tech Trade Show.”


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