Opinions & Advice

The ROI of an NADA Booth Model


Should vendors have booth models? I VOTE YES!!

But, how does a vendor measure the ROI of a booth model?

I have an answer! Wanna hear it?..Here it is!!

First, figure out your total cost for each booth model’s attendance. Room, food, transportation, hairspray, makeup, etc.

Find out the total number of registered NADA dealer attendees for 2008. Each dealer attendees would be compared as an impression, like a banner ad on a website.

Every time your booth model makes eye contact, speaks or flirts with a dealer and gets them to approach the booth, this could be compared as a click on your banner ad. Evey time a booth model swipes a dealers pass card or T.O.’s over to a sales agent, this would be considered a lead conversion or the BMCR or "booth model conversion ratio".

Divide the total number of leads each booth model has acquired by the total cost of her attendance and this will give you the CPLPBM or "Cost per lead per booth model".

From here, you want to track your leads to signed contracts. Next, take your yearly net profit from each signed contract and subtract the total cost associated with each booth model.

There you have it!

This simple calculation will give you an exact ROI for each of your booth models.

Now of course this doesn’t take into account the long term effect of a highly effective booth model. Example: Last year I almost fell in love with the stunning Andrea over at the vAuto booth and this year I was not going to miss the opportunity to get a photo with her. She’s HOT!! Case in point for the long term effect here; I remembered Andrea from last year (though didn’t catch her name) and made sure I stopped by the vAuto booth this year just to see Andrea. And of course ended up sitting through a demo for vAuto.

With that being said..your booth model is "like" a landing page. The more effective the landing page the better your lead conversion. The better looking and friendly your booth model, again the better your chances of a lead conversion.

Be sure your booth model has all the right elements for conversion and you can be guaranteed a successful return from your exhibit in NADA!

Andrea, if you read this..I know there was a connection between us during the short moment we had together, but I’m sorry, I just don’t think it’s going to work out between us. The long distance, one sided relationships are just too difficult, I’m sorry 🙁









Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
What about ROI on balloons? Do you have a formula for that?
Maybe I should put that under "some dealers just don't get it" thread?

Nice post Jeff.

I'm certain there's a direct correlation between the amount of 'clicks' on a booth model & their 'design.'
Hey Jeff!

I think you are onto something! I have to wonder though: How do you calculate the ROI on your trip to San Fran??? All those pictures are beginning to make me wonder how you had any time to get anything done (business-wise, of course...)!!!
  • L
    Lao Shi
  • February 24, 2008

Hmmmm I wonder about having the "Booth Babe" as a "chat host" on the dealer website. Give the visitor a choice, "Booth Babe" "Booth Dude" as we have many female clients in the market now. Hmmmm.

Great idea Jeff, as always, you never know what ideas you pick up at these trade shows.
Dude, you make me laugh! Great post. I'd like to see your giant gorilla ROI report next. :)
Ha Ha Ha! Jeff, that's hilarious!

Screw Checkered Flag - I'm hanging out with you next NADA.

  • M
  • February 25, 2008
Funny as it sounds it's quite true. I ran a booth last year at the SXSW conference, and even during slow traffic periods, I could generate more interest by having the models walk around the event than by waiting for passers-by to arrive.

Of course the booth next to us was being promo'd by a guy in a gorilla custome brandishing a large hypodermic needle... so I guess that might have driven people our way as well.
  • S
  • February 25, 2008
Which one is Andrea?
I bet she is the second one from the bottom :)
  • J
  • February 26, 2008
I had a vendor tell me it costs over 60k to have a booth!
Hey Jason,

That vendor is right on, if they are a considerable presence at the show (like Dealer.com, izmocars, or Joe Verde for example).

From NADA's "08 exibitor prospectus:"

"Booth space cost is $30 per square foot...Cost of space does not include the following:
rigging or machinery moving, unpacking,
erection or repacking of displays, utilities
(i.e., electrical, water, gas, compressed air,
telephone, booth decoration, furniture,
carpet). Exhibitors may order these services
from the official show contractor, Freeman." NOT TO MENTION BOOTH MODELS!!!

So for the smallest space, (you know the kind, with just a curtain and poster behind them) which is 10x10, the cost for the booth alone is $3000 for the weekend. Take a display like izmocars' probably closer to 1500-2000 square feet and the cost goes to $45,000-60,000 for the booth alone.

Also, the design and construction of the displays can be huge money...there is an entire industry dedicated to designing trade show displays. Those displays also need to be shipped, sometimes across the country, or even internationally (not cheap!). Don't forget about all the promotional tchotchkes, you know, things like frisbees, flashlights, t-shirts, pens, hand-sanitizers, calendars, etc. that almost EVERY vendor hands out to anybody with a "Dealer" or "Manager" badge!!!

Add the aforementioned costs, hotels for all the exhibiting employees (izmo is not a good example for this, since they are HQ'd in San Fran), travel, etc. and it becomes pretty apparent that some of these exhibitors need to do HUGE business while they are in town in order to justify the cost.

Just imagine what the Automakers like GM, Ford, and Toyota pay to be at NADA.
  • D
  • February 26, 2008
And dealers wonder why the vendors keep raising their prices...
Hey, free stuff rocks... and so do booth models. Probably the one reason I agreed to help Nissan with their booth at the auto show in years past was because of the hot booth models...
Well as a vendor at this year's NADA (represented by one of the pictures above) I can say that our ROI on "booth models" was high indeed. Katie and Meagan were more than just pretty faces as they sold almost as much product on their own as their male counterparts! "Booth Model" ROI might be good, by "Booth Model Sales Representative" is great!! Can't say enough about how great the girls did @ San Fran - they rock!


You should start being the "Hot Booth Model" Not to shabby must I say!

I had to say it!
Where are all the Female Auto Sales Reps? They enjoy a distinct advantage, especially in our industry.

Makes sense to me.

  • J
    Jeff Kershner
  • March 2, 2008
Jennifer, what am I supposed to follow that up with?

Thanks!? Haha

Your creative writing and ideas continue to move our industry in progressive and sometimes uncharted territory. Keep up the great work!