Every event organiser talks about thousands of visitors and hundreds of exhibitors. And, while they make great business sense to them (they earn their profits from the same after all)—do these trade-shows make business sense for you?

Interesting question—but we did not find any answers to the same. So, we asked our journalists to speak to marketers and entrepreneurs on their views on this subject.

Interestingly, 67% of the respondents gave replies which we categorised as “unsure”. Another, 14% said “no, they don’t” despite the fact that they had exhibited in two-or-more trade shows in the last 12 months! But, the real gem emerged when our journalists spoke to the balance 19% and consolidated their views. Here’s what they uncovered…

NUTSHELL: Exhibitions make perfect business investment, if they’re the ‘right exhibition for your firm’, and there’s a simple formula to calculate their Return-on-Investment value.

Here’s that ‘simple’ back-of-the-envelope calculation for assessing your return-on-investments…

1. Select the ‘right exhibition for your business’.

The ‘right exhibition for your business’ is one where you are confident to generate 50 to 100 interactions with new prospects.

2. Calculate the estimated cost of meeting each of these new customers in their offices.

This is typically simple to do—estimate travel costs (per client interaction) based on your team’s past averages, and estimate man-hour cost per interaction based on your team’s past averages too. Our research estimates these costs to range from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000 depending on your business profile.

3. Calculate the cost of out-station meetings.

The right exhibition will generate interactions with few out-station clients too. Each outstation client met represents a major cost-saving in terms of travel and man-hours.

4. Calculate the cost of generating the interest in them (aka lead) to meet your team.

At the ‘right exhibition’, your prospective customers come to your booth. In a typical sales cycle, your team has to do a lot of cold calling or invest in marketing tools, to generate interest of prospects to give your team an opportunity to interact.

5. Calculate the opportunity cost.

How much time will it take your team to meet 50 to 100 new customers? And how much more business will you be able to do, or save cash, if you could do the same within 3 days? This is one aspect most of us forget, but is super critical, especially when you want to accelerate the speed of your sales funnel. Our research shows that for a typical firm, 100 new clients are met in 2 to 3 man-months. You can meet that number within 3 days, at the right exhibition!

NUTSHELL: From an ‘only return-on-investment’ perspective, our research shows that an investment into an expo up-to a booth-sized 9 to 18 square meters with an additional budget of 50% to 100% over and above the booth’s cost–for stall setup, travel costs and man-hour costs of your team–should yield NET positive results for most businesses. For businesses with large value deals, even a smaller number of interactions with new customers would do.

Are you a tech start up? Interested to know about our special start up package?


Our experience has been really good

Overall, our experience has been really good. We have got a good location for our booth. Plus, as per my estimates, 85% of the visitors are amongst our target audience. We got to connect with start-ups, developers and system integrators. A lot of crowd got attracted by Application Demos placed on our booth. We would definitely like to participate in 2019 too!

Ms. Saswati Ray, Mouser Electronics

This year has been exceptional

We participate at IEW every year and every year the response has been good for us. This year has been exceptional. We experienced a good turn-out on the first two days and today too, the crowd seems to be good. Lot of people have been visiting our booth. The response has certainly been good for us. We wish to participate again n the coming editions of this expo.

Mr. Ajay S, Element 14

We are really happy to be here 

We are from Poland. We are distributors of Electronics Components. We are really happy to be here. We appreciate that this event gave us a great chance to meet Indian customers and trade channel partners and build new relations. We are more than happy that we exhibited here.

Ms. Marta Sobieraj, Transfer Multisort Electonik,TME

We have generated a lot of leads

This is our first exhibition in India ever. Our objective was to meet Indian product engineers and component engineers. This has been a very successful exhibition where we have generated a lot of leads. In fact, they are double the number that we used to get in UK. So we are very excited about the opportunities that we have found by being at this exhibition.

Mr. Paul Hooper, Anders DX

We are happy to be here at and IEW 2019

We are happy to be here at and IEW 2019. I would  say the result has been better than what we expected. More than 400 to 500 start-ups visited our booth. We got a good opportunity to engage with them, and they got to experience our solutions. I believe this event has initiated a long term relationship with these IOT and electronics start-ups.

Mr. Vishal Goyal ( ST Microelectronics India)