Setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for any marketing activity or event is crucial for measuring the success of your participation and ensuring that your investment yields tangible returns.

These KPIs should align with your overall business and marketing objectives. In this edition of our blog, we look at what KPIs could be worth focussing on at your event. Remember, specific events lend themselves to differing KPIs, so before concentrating your efforts on one particular target, give thought to what event you are attending.

What is a KPI?

Let’s get this answered right away! If you are new to events and exhibitions, there will be a host of buzzwords flying around, and despite the term KPI being commonly used in almost every business, it may still be best to clarify it, especially if you are new to events and exhibitions.

KPI stands for Key Performance Indicators. There are often many being used at any one time, but in some cases, businesses may opt to just measure one or two.  These KPIs are the metrics that measure your performance against the objectives you set yourself. You’ll often see these objectives referred to as SMART Objectives.

By choosing to use KPIs for your event or exhibition, you can monitor the successes and failures of your event and finetune best practices to ensure you reach your goals. Without a form of measurement, you will never accurately know if your appearance at an event has been a success.

Setting any KPI needs to be specific to your business and the event you are attending, so let’s discover the ones that assist your exhibition stand in making your appearance at the event a success.

What are SMART objectives?

You’ll have seen that we mentioned SMART Objectives in the earlier section. These are the targets or goals you are looking to achieve during your time at the exhibition.  The reason they are called SMART Objectives is because they need to be:

S – Specific to the what, when, who and how of the event you are attending. By being specific, you allow a focus on an objective that can then be measured.

M – Measurable results that give you facts and figures that allow you to record your success or failure.

A –  Attainable goals are the only kind of goals you should be setting. If you are unrealistic in your expectations, you not only cause your team to struggle to hit them but also expend additional effort on trying to hit those targets whilst avoiding the quick wins you could otherwise be succeeding with.

R-  Relevant objectives allow you and your team to put the focus in the right place. Looking at your key business goals rather than being distracted by others’ businesses successes is so important! Focus on your key goals and set objectives based on them.

T- Time-sensitive goals mean you see a true representation of the success or failure of your efforts. The larger the window for closing the goal leads to results that are not necessarily accurate and, at best, vague. Think of it this way, if you set a target of selling 100 items, but put no time limit on when to sell them. You may always reach that goal, but if it took six months to get there, is that still a success?

The KPIs for event and exhibition success

There are a host of KPIs you could focus on during the exhibition. Some may give you and your team a wealth of results that help you finesse your strategies going forward. Others may help you see that you are reaping the rewards of your hard work. Look to the following and see how they align with the objectives you have set.

1.      Lead Generation

A lead indicates that there is someone genuinely interested in what you have to offer. This is your pathway to a conversion. So, factoring this into your KPI measurement could be a vital indicator of event success. You could look at:

Number of Leads: Set a target for the number of new leads you want to generate within the event period. It could be broken down per day or for the duration of the event.

Quality of Leads: Evaluate leads based on their potential to convert into sales. Consider categorising them (e.g., hot, warm, cold). Seeing how realistic converting event leads into a sale is will help you determine which leads require pursuing and which ones are not yet ready.

2.      Conversion Rate

Anyone who converts from a lead to a sale is a success story for you, but there are other parts of the funnel worth monitoring. This way you can quantify who requires which part of the next steps of your sales journey.

Leads to Opportunities: Track how many leads move further down the sales funnel.

Opportunities to Sales: Monitor the percentage of opportunities that convert into actual sales.

3.      Sales Metrics

Sales and revenue. The ultimate goal for any business, along with turning a profit! You have opportunities to close sales at the event and some may even come after the event has long since finished as a result of your team engaging with new customers at your marketing event. Look to monitor:

Direct Sales: Track the number of sales made directly at the exhibition.

Average Sales Value: Monitor the average value of sales initiated or closed during the exhibition.

Also, look to see how your systems could monitor sales that come because of your appearance at the event. They may not have happened without you having been there! Follow-up emails or surveys after a sale could help with this.

4.      Brand Awareness and Engagement

Your custom modular exhibition stands could be drawing lots of attention and seeing you become a focal point of the day, but are all those visits meaningful? Engagement can be measured in a host of ways, each with the potential to push your brand further.

Social Media Mentions and Engagement: Track the increase in mentions, followers, likes, and overall engagement on your social media platforms.

Website Traffic: Monitor the spike in website visitors during and after the exhibition.

Email List Growth: Measure how many new subscribers you gain to your newsletter or email list because of the exhibition.

Event stand engagement: You can also look to monitor who is staying at your stand and for how long. Do these people engage with your team and want to know more? Or are they hanging around for the exhibition giveaways? Think about monitoring how many visitors your stand attracts, what the dwell time is and how many repeat visits were made. An enticing stand designed by our expert exhibition stand designers might be one of the reasons people are drawn in but your team and your brand are what keep people there!

5.      Customer Feedback and Market Insight

Feedback, surveys and market insights can give you a complete assessment of what people thought, what they expected and what they got from visiting you.

Survey Responses: Collect and analyse feedback from participants and leads regarding your products, exhibition stand, and overall presentation.

Competitive Insights: Gather insights on market trends and competitor strategies based on your observations and interactions.

6.      Networking and Partnerships

An event is a great time to forge new relationships and strike up new partnerships. Measuring these could be a great indicator of how successful your event attendance has been.

New Contacts: Set a goal for the number of new industry contacts you aim to make. These could open the doors to sales, new leads and further event opportunities.

Partnership Opportunities: Identify potential partners and track any agreements or collaborations that arise.

7.  ROI (Return on Investment)

Calculate the overall return on investment by comparing the revenue generated (or the value of leads and opportunities) against the cost of participating in the exhibition.



Remember, the KPIs you choose should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. By closely monitoring these KPIs, you can better understand the effectiveness of your exhibition participation and make informed decisions to enhance future performance.

At Starlight Exhibitions we always encourage our clients to make sure they get the very best ROI from their exhibitions and events.  We create sustainable exhibition stands that not only help you achieve any green objectives you may have but also help you stand out at any event!

Using our years of knowledge and experience, we cultivate exhibition stand designs to your needs. This means we work to your budget, your timeline and your brand specifications. With portable pop up display stands available alongside our bespoke modular units and lightbox displays, there is something for every event type when you choose Starlight Exhibitions. We are the official supplier of Nomadic Display products. Why not contact us today to find out more?