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Setting exhibition and event objectives

Setting exhibition and event objectivesPrior to deciding which event to attend, you should try to be clear on why you're attending, what you hope to gain and how you will know if you have succeeded

Don't get me wrong, many people attend exhibitions with good intentions, aiming to do business and generate sales, but their objectives are too vague and either non-measurable or unrealistic.

Broadly objectives can include:

Sales generation

Direct sales, leads, database building, registering interest, current and new relationships

Customer relationships

Sales, confirmations, incremental or additional business, referees, re-vitalise lapsed

Brand building

Awareness, positioning, education, demonstration, expansion to new markets, investors/city

Product launches

Interest, prototypes, design studies, feedback data acquisition, timing and sales

Market research

Awareness, perceptions, surveys and opinion data, targets, budgets and campaign robustness

Channel building/support

Partners, dealers, distributors, agents, support for current agreements/channels

Media relations

Coverage, titles, press, editorial and journalist relations, investors/city


Audience, coverage, profile, methodology, VIP profiling

It is important, however, to be more specific with your objectives.

For example if your objective is to generate sales, then you can ask questions like:

  • Are you targetting new or existing accounts?
  • How many sales?
  • Leads by order value or number of accounts?
  • Demographic splits?
  • Sales conversions or enquiries?
  • What timescales?

Most people use some system for establishing good objectives and will ensure they use something like S.M.A.R.T. to test them.

Once you have established your objectives, you will be in a better position to identify which events are most likely to help you achieve those aims.

Written by Simon Naudi of Answers Training International

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