As with all things in life, you cannot measure what you cannot define.
Famously, Ralph Waldo Emerson had this to say about success:
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To give of one’s self;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived
This is to have succeeded.
But what about for our Trade Show?
The first questions must always be, what do you want out of the Trade Show? Is it sales, leads, exposure, contacts? Only by asking what you want can you measure the shows success.
At a recent trade show I was speaking with a clothing wholesaler who was interested in getting retailers for his product. It seemed peculiar to me. The attendees were all consumers, they may have had a clothes retailer business but there would not be coming to the show in that context, they would be coming to buy. The wholesaler did not have a large supply of product so when people stopped to ask to buy from them he actually said, “I’m sorry these are not for sale”. Only on Day 3 (of a 3 day Trade Show) did he start recording client details to email them sales opportunities.
His mission was to find a retailer. Yet at no time did he leave the booth to go and speak to other retailers who had booths at the trade show.
I don’t know if he measure the show as a success. From my observations, it did not appear to give the return I would demand from a trade show like that one. While he knew what he was after (new retailers) he did not consider the primary audience at the show or how he could maximise the benefit from them.
What about you?
What do you want from your next trade show? How will you measure if you have achieved it or not? How will you know if the Trade Show was worthwhile?
Until next time, I wish you much Trade Show Success.
The Get More Guy