How to: Calculate Event ROI

The event may be over, but there’s still work to finish up. That includes writing a post-event report, which in turn means gathering and analyzing data. Part of that process involves calculating your event’s return on investment, or ROI.

Why Is Event ROI Important?

Measuring event ROI is important for one simple reason: It’s a way to measure the success of an event. The higher the ROI, the more successful the event. Proving ROI is useful in itself as a measure of success, but it’s also useful because it’s proof of success. When you can point to hard numbers that prove the event achieved its goal, you have a solid case for attracting bigger budgets and more sponsors for future events.

There is a caveat here: For ROI to be a useful measurement, it has to be accurate and thorough. And that can be difficult to achieve, especially as events get more complex and it becomes harder to accurately measure all the elements of success. Sometimes ROI isn’t just about hard numbers.

First, the Hard Numbers… How to Calculate ROI for an Event

ROI is a measurement of revenue versus costs, with a straightforward core calculation. For that, you need your total event revenue (R) and the total cost (C) of the event.

ROI = (R – C) ÷ C x 100

Subtract total event cost from total revenue generated from sales. Then divide by total cost of the event and multiply the result by 100. That final figure is your ROI.

event kpis and metrics

For a straightforward event where the primary goal is profit made from ticket sales, it’s easy enough to calculate ROI. But what if your event goals are less tangible? It’s much harder to calculate event ROI accurately if your event’s primary goal is to raise brand awareness or to generate new sales leads.

In these situations you can still measure ROI by adjusting what is meant by revenue. Instead of revenue related to ticket sales, it’s about measuring the primary goal of the event.

1. Identify the Primary Goal

The first step is to identify the main event goal that defines its success. If it’s not about ticket sales, what is it about? Some options include:

  • Launching a new product
  • Raising brand or company awareness
  • Sales or generated leads
  • Improving employee performance or education

Setting Event Goals & Objectives

2. Identify Measurable Metrics

Having an event goal is pointless if you don’t have some way of measuring how well that goal has been achieved. Whatever your primary goal might be, you need at least one—preferably more—event metric to help you determine whether your corporate event has hit the mark.

Those metrics should relate directly to the goal, of course, but it’s also important to choose metrics you know you can generate data for. Make sure you’re measuring parameters that actually can be measured so you have some hard data at the end of the event.

For instance, if you want to build brand awareness, some metrics to track might include:

3. Gather and Analyze Data

With your goal and metrics set, you’ll be able to gather data in the lead-up to the event and throughout the event itself. Once it’s all over, it’s time to analyze the data and figure out what went right and if there are any spots for improvements.

For some metrics, you’ll want to start your analysis early. For instance, if you’re tracking brand awareness and customer sentiment, it’s important to have a pre-event baseline so you have a basis for comparison after the event. Keeping an eye on social media metrics is also useful in the lead-up to an event because it’s a good way to measure the success of your event promotion.

ROI Alternative for Sales Events: Projected Business Value (PBV)

For sales-focused events, a useful metric is projected business value. This is a good alternative to ROI that can work particularly well for products with long sales cycles. The longer the sales cycle, the harder it is to pinpoint the event value. Calculating PBV lets you estimate that value right away, instead of having to wait for data to track.

To calculate PBV for an event, you need the following information:

  • Number of qualified leads (QL) gained from the event
  • The company’s average historical close rate (CR)
  • Added business value (BV) for the event – This figure is the average difference in value between clients who attend the event and those who don’t.

To find the PBV, multiple QL x CR x BV. The PBV represents a value estimate of the value the event provides, that wouldn’t have been gained had the event not been held. It measures how much value the event generates in the long-term and is useful to compare to other methods of lead and value generation.

Alternatives to ROI

ROI isn’t always the most important event metric, and it’s definitely not the only one. Especially for events where calculating the ROI is difficult, it’s important to consider other metrics too. Some options include:

  • Website visits, content views, and social media engagement don’t add to your bottom line, but they’re a good way of gauging interest in the event.
  • Net promoter score can show what your event audience thinks about the event and your brand.
  • Sales metrics such as close rate and cost-per-lead are useful for sales-focused events.
  • For virtual events or hybrid events, engagement metrics help you explore how people reacted to your event content.

ROI Helps You Understand Your Event and Prove Success

There are multiple ways to measure event success, all of which involve gathering and analyzing data. ROI is a useful figure that directly measures financial success, and, with a bit of retooling, the same principle can help you measure any event goal. Using ROI and other metrics to track your event success also helps you refine your event planning skills so every event you hold improves on the last. Working with the event planners at ProGlobalEvents can ensure you’re set up from the start to hit your goals and gather the data necessary to track event ROI. Contact us today to learn more.

Jack Connolly

Executive Creative Director

As an experiential creative director, Jack prefers to draw outside the lines. He tells stories with original content and impactful design to ignite meaningful conversation.


Jack brings 20 years of event industry knowledge to ProGlobalEvents. He specializes in building live & virtual platforms for audiences to connect, engage and immerse themselves in the power of a shared experience. His skills range from ideation and concept development to defining an attendee journey through storytelling and design.

Jack understands the creative process is not linear, but a collaborative process between agency and client. He manages teams of designers and technology developers to pioneer impactful brand experiences. His diverse skillset and leadership ensure for award-winning results and memorable impressions.


In 2019, BizBash named Jack one of the top event designers in North America. SXSW awarded his work the “People’s Choice in Innovation” in 2021.

Jerome Nadel

Chief Marketing Officer

Jerome Nadel is Internationally experienced design-led marketing executive (CMO and GM) with a track record of improved market position, revenue growth, and M&A. He is an advance degreed psychologist and user experience product/service design expert, board member and advisor.


Prior to joining ProGlobalEvents |ProExhibits |XtendLive, he has had a variety of chief marketing officer and chief user experience officer roles at companies including Rambus, BrainChip, Human Factors International, SLP InfoWare, Gemplus, and Sagem. He started his career in the IBM Human Factors Labs.


He is also an avid cyclist with National and multiple California State Champion titles.

Ivan Fujihara

Chief Financial Officer

Ivan brings 25+ years in senior level management experience from a variety of technology industries.  His background includes accounting management, analytics and audit management for technology companies.  He has worked with companies such as THX, Ltd, Recruitology , Double Click, Creative Labs and more.  Ivan has also served on the board of Lincoln Families, a non-profit that supports East Bay children with the objective of disrupting the cycle of trauma and poverty.

Matt Rulis

Vice President of Sales

Matt is a marketing professional and has been managing marketing strategies, campaigns and environments for a diverse client base for over 15 years. From a service perspective, Matt and his team of Account Executives focus on fostering relationships to uphold a greater than 99% customer satisfaction rating year-over-year. Additionally, with extensive experience on the client-side of the industry, he understands that alignment between expectation and budget is paramount to a successful project. As a result, ProGlobalEvents' clients can expect a competitive advantage paired with top quality products and services. Matt is an avid fly-fisherman, enjoys most outdoor activities and is a true college football fanatic.

Tom Foley

VP of Operations

Heading the fabrication side of ProGlobalEvents is exhibit and event industry veteran, Tom Foley. For over 35 years he has been responsible for building amazing exhibits and environments for clients. Tom started out in the production area and has broad experience in project and operations management. He currently oversees production, warehouse, graphics and project management departments. Tom studied machine tool technology and welding before entering the industry. As a true "builder" he also enjoys restoring and modifying classic American cars.

Dick Wheeler


Dick serves as President of ProGlobalEvents and President of ProExhibits and is a board member of CEMA (Corporate Event Marketing Association). At ProExhibits he has been nationally recognized as an innovator and driving force in the fast-growing trade show exhibit and event industry. Under his leadership in 1997, the firm received INC magazine’s INC 500 award as one of America’s fastest-growing companies. His informative articles on developments and innovations in the trade show exhibit and event industry have appeared in national trade publications. Dick has a B.S. degree from Wittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire and has completed the Entrepreneurial Executive Leadership Program sponsored by MIT, YEO and INC. He is actively involved in Vistage, an interactive group of over 20,000 CEO’s and presidents worldwide and is a member of CEMA and EDPA.

Jody Tatro

Chief Executive Officer

In addition to being CEO of ProGlobalEvents, Jody is also the CEO of ProExhibits. With Jody at the helm, the company has been recognized repeatedly as one of the Top 50 Women Owned Businesses in Silicon Valley. She has set the outstanding client service standards for which the firm’s account management team is noted. Jody is a recipient of the YWCA’s Tribute to Women Award, the Junior League Community Volunteer Award and is listed in Who’s Who of Women in Business. Following her graduation from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Jody held various sales positions in several technology companies.