Most businesses are constantly looking for the ‘keys’ to success. As if the formula for succeeding in any given industry could be reduced to a few simple tips and recommendations. Unfortunately, it cannot. However, there is one thing that is always key to success. That is actually knowing when you are succeeding and what is responsible for that success. That’s right, perhaps the most important key to success is simply realizing to what degree you are already successful and why. This is just as true for getting the most out of your trade show as it is for any other aspect of running your business.
You may be thinking right now that this should be a given. Unfortunately, it is not. There are countless examples that abound of businesses who experienced a great deal of success and simply didn’t know what to attribute it to. When they subsequently started to struggle, they didn’t know why. This happens with a lot of us in our personal lives as well. It happens to our favorite sports teams. It’s part of life. When we are succeeding we need to know where that success is coming from and when we are struggling we need to know why. If we don’t, we end up changing things willy nilly (or attempting to keep everything the same and failing to see the writing on the wall).
When your company attends a trade show, it is absolutely crucial to track and measure your performance every step of the way. How else are you going to know what your real return on investment was? How else will you know how many hot leads you really generated? You should be tracking everything from the cost of your pop up displays to the effectiveness of one exhibition design versus another. You should be making sure that you survey and record information on all the attendees who will stand still for a second and listen to you talk.
It’s not enough just to try to make sure that you have the finest exhibition design and the most eye-catching pop up displays on the show floor. At your next trade show you need to be able to measure your success (or your lack of success) and diagnose both your strengths and weaknesses. Without both of these crucial items, how will you ever replicate your success (or avoid future failure?)