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3 Minute Read

What does “SUCCESS” look like for an exhibitor?

3 Minute Read

Blog Image_Success

Dictionary definition of success…
“The favourable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavours; the accomplishment of one’s goals.”

What are your goals?

Hey – this means that you can set a very small goal, that’s easily achievable and it could still be called a “success”?

Yes – But is it really?

If your small goal means you actually lose money (long or short term) as a result, can it be called success…?

The ultimate goal for every company is to have a profit so you can pay your staff, feed you family and help other people – this means I need to sell something for more than I bought it or made it for.

The first step here is to determine your realistic goals and have a plan to achieve a positive return on investment.

20 Goals for a tradeshow!


  1. Generate sales leads
  2. Make direct sales
  3. Build a contact database
Customer Relationships
  1. Build relationships with current customers
  2. Educate customers
  3. Upsell and cross-sell customers
  4. Collect customer testimonials
  5. Re-sell lapsed customers

Market Research

  1. Market test a new product
  2. Research your marketing campaign
  3. Test market awareness and perceptions

Brand building

  1. Create or raise market awareness
  2. Position or re-position your brand
  3. Educate by demonstrating
  4. Develop new markets

Channel Support

  1. Identify and recruit new distributors or partners
  2. Support your current sales channel
  3. Build your reputation as a partner

Media Relations

  1. Get on the ‘media radar’/generate coverage
  2. Build relationships with key editors and journalists

So where do I start!

It gets overwhelming with 20 different goals right?

Download this simple goal sheet that will help bring it all together.  Watch the results explode!

If you’ve ever recorded results from previous events, setting goals for a future event will be a lot easier.

If you haven’t got that historical data, then speak to the show organisers. They would have a sense of some reasonable targets based on previous visitor surveys even though they may not be directly involved in your industry.

You have to start somewhere! Going in blind is likely going to end up in you being frustrated and going backwards financially!

Your first goal-setting exercise might not be totally accurate, but if you take the trouble to capture what you learn, you’ll get better every time you exhibit.

Budget and ROI calculator Tool


Measure Time not… (Leisure Time)!

Once you’ve used tour tool to develop your prioritised list of quantifiable goals. Now how do you measure your results against these goals? Here are a few tips:

At the show:

Keep it simple – Busy shows can be overwhelming. The simpler your system, the more likely it will be used.

High or low tech – Collecting business cards from pre-screened prospects is a simple solution. But consider lead trackers for capturing even more data.

Brief all staff – Everyone on the stand must understand your goals, your priorities and your measurement system for the exhibition.

After the show:

Hold an instant de-brief – You’re all exhausted, but a short debriefing session with all stand staff can help capture the most important learning while it’s fresh.

Keep the books open – New business can come in for weeks and months after an event. Be sure to update your show report to reflect this.

Write a final report – Summarise the results achieved against each goal you set. Share the report with key managers from sales, marketing and top management. By the time the next year’s show comes up, you should all have a pretty complete idea of the value of your participation.


The goal here is not to create paperwork but to capture your learning so that you can improve your exhibition marketing over time. The measuring and reporting should become second nature – an integral part of your exhibition activities. Once that happens, the improvements will follow.

Talk to us today to find out how we can help you with these decisions and above all:
“Be Awesome!”

Exhibition Strategy Session