Setting exhibition and event objectives

Setting exhibition and event objectives{{}}Prior 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

Many people attend exhibitions with good intentions, aiming to meet people, do business and generate sales. But often 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 testing

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 to be specific with your own objectives. For example if your aim is to generate sales, then you can ask questions like:

  • Are we targeting new or existing accounts?
  • How many sales do we want to make?
  • How does the event audience match our target market?
  • Are we looking for sales conversions or enquiries at the event?
  • What are our timescales?

Setting SMART objectives - specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely - will help you identify which events are most likely to help you achieve your aims.