Planning for a successful trade show requires the management of thousands of moving parts. Operations, sales and marketing professionals plan all year for the one or two opportunities to be in front of hundreds of prospects within a short window of time. For many companies, trade shows offer their largest pool of prospects with the biggest opportunity for sales and profitability for the year.
Yet, there is one thing that can keep you from that successful experience. Poorly planned and executed meetings.
We’ve all been in meetings where much is discussed and yet in the end people walk away with unclear direction; feeling like the past hour was a waste. Meetings for the sake of meetings can be the biggest detriment to preparing for your trade show.
What is the solution?
At every opportunity, ask the question: What is the expected outcome?
What is the expected outcome of the trade show itself? Do we plan to launch new products? Do we have a certain number of new leads to obtain? Do we have “x” amount in sales dollars to secure? What do we expect to accomplish?
Once your ultimate goals are determined, that same question can be applied to the following activities throughout the year:
What is the expected outcome of the customer experience
within our booth and whattrade show apps
are needed to achieve that goal?
What is the expected outcome of our graphic displays?
Do we need them to convey a message or offer an interactive experience? What changes do we need to make to ourtrade show graphics
to help achieve our goals?
What is the expected outcome of our sales staff?
Do they require training to achieve their goals? What technology is needed to help them be successful? What products or props will they need?
What is the expected outcome of our profitability for the trade show? Do we need to examine ways to streamline profits? Do we need to connect with a vendor to help us maximize our profits? What trade show sales offers should we be willing to offer?
What is the expected outcome of THIS planning meeting? For each meeting leading up to the event and those that follow, start each meeting with the same question. When the agenda is focused on the expected outcome, the conversation and assigned tasks should help you achieve your goal.
If conversations take the group away from the tasks at hand, someone needs to remind the group of the expected outcome so that your time and efforts are focused, clear and goal-oriented.
By asking this one question What are the expected outcomes? – along the way, everyone within the company will be focused and understand the goals. When team members are clear on the goal and understand how each task/assignment moves them closer to the goal, they are more inclined to offer their best work.
So what is your expected outcome of your next trade show event?