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Imagine This Scenario 

You’ve recently been hired as the trade show manager for an established mid-sized corporation. It’s January. The trade show and event schedule for the year was already submitted by your predecessor. Booth sizes, staffing levels, allocated budgets for each event, already decided. Like the year before and many years before that, it was a carbon copy of the previous year’s calendar. There's been no new scrutiny or review.

 

The CMO emails you in your second week on the job. The CEO and CFO are copied. The subject line: This Year’s Trade Show Budget Cut by 25%- Let’s Discuss the Suggested Schedule Tomorrow. Initial conversations with your team uncover no tracking or measurement systems currently implemented. There's nothing in place to allow you to suggest cuts, reallocation, or justification of the initial plan. But, whether they know it or not, that is what they hired you to fix. You confidently accept the calendar invite.

Imagine This Scenario 

You’ve recently been hired as the trade show manager for an established mid-sized corporation. It’s January. The trade show and event schedule for the year was already submitted by your predecessor. Booth sizes, staffing levels, allocated budgets for each event, already decided. Like the year before and many years before that, it was a carbon copy of the previous year’s calendar. There's been no new scrutiny or review.

 

The CMO emails you in your second week on the job. The CEO and CFO are copied. The subject line: This Year’s Trade Show Budget Cut by 25%- Let’s Discuss the Suggested Schedule Tomorrow. Initial conversations with your team uncover no tracking or measurement systems currently implemented. There's nothing in place to allow you to suggest cuts, reallocation, or justification of the initial plan. But, whether they know it or not, that is what they hired you to fix. You confidently accept the calendar invite.

As an event marketer, you have accountability for the major investments trade shows entail. You need to be able to objectively evaluate and report your efforts. A robust and consistent measurement program will capture the value your events generate. It will then distill that value into a ratio versus the costs incurred.

It will allow you to compare every event on your schedule to every other event. It will allow you to project the results for potential additions to your show schedule. You can evaluate the respective value of dissimilar events and marketing efforts. This can all be accomplished even if direct comparison may otherwise prove difficult.

As an event marketer, you have accountability for the major investments trade shows entail. You need to be able to objectively evaluate and report your efforts. A robust and consistent measurement program will capture the value your events generate. It will then distill that value into a ratio versus the costs incurred.

It will allow you to compare every event on your schedule to every other event. It will allow you to project the results for potential additions to your show schedule. You can evaluate the respective value of dissimilar events and marketing efforts. This can all be accomplished even if direct comparison may otherwise prove difficult.

The responsibility for justifying trade show and event participation and investment poses 3 fundamental challenges:

1. Existing Event Analysis

It is obviously critical to be able to objectively compare existing trade shows and events based on their return- “ROI” seem to be the 3 most popular letters in the trade show alphabet. But for many, effective comparison is made impossible by insufficient objective setting, inconsistent measurement and tracking, or ineffective analysis.

2. Projecting Performance

Do your company goals, marketing initiatives, and personal benchmarks stay the same year after year? Then why does your trade show schedule? Your trade show and event mix should be thoroughly reviewed annually at minimum for potential adjustments, eliminations, and additions- but if you lack effective research and forecasting methods, you’re flying blind.

3. Evaluating Dissimilar Efforts

Your trade show and event budget is likely part of a larger pool of funds allocated for recruitment, advertising & PR, internal events, digital campaigns, and other marketing efforts. If you are not able to effectively evaluate the results of your events against those other initiatives you will find it difficult to justify your event expenditures.

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The responsibility for justifying trade show and event participation and investment poses 3 fundamental challenges:

1. Existing Event Analysis

It is obviously critical to be able to objectively compare existing trade shows and events based on their return- “ROI” seem to be the 3 most popular letters in the trade show alphabet. But for many, effective comparison is made impossible by insufficient objective setting, inconsistent measurement and tracking, or ineffective analysis.

2. Projecting Performance

Do your company goals, marketing initiatives, and personal benchmarks stay the same year after year? Then why does your trade show schedule? Your trade show and event mix should be thoroughly reviewed annually at minimum for potential adjustments, eliminations, and additions- but if you lack effective research and forecasting methods, you’re flying blind.

3. Evaluating Dissimilar Efforts

Your trade show and event budget is likely part of a larger pool of funds allocated for recruitment, advertising & PR, internal events, digital campaigns, and other marketing efforts. If you are not able to effectively evaluate the results of your events against those other initiatives you will find it difficult to justify your event expenditures.

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