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Get What You Measure

by Special Contributor Bob Hughes of The Hughes Group

“Never forget, you get what you measure” is undoubtedly proven within the Hawthorne Effect, also known as the Observer Effect — a reaction that occurs when individuals improve an aspect of their behavior in response to their awareness of being observed. In other words, when you know someone’s watching, you get better.

The original study at Hawthorne Works suggested that the mere novelty of being research subjects and the increased attention on workers in the electric company factory could lead to temporary increases in worker productivity. Applied to our business today, the Observer Effect means that we can become better exhibitors, event professionals, conference planners and show managers by keeping tabs on the data that measures performance.

In today’s ever-changing exhibit environment, it is vital for each organization to dedicate themselves to becoming healthier decision-makers. Making clearer and more informed conclusions becomes more and more essential to guide the overall business model based upon real world data. It is imperative to produce cumulative information that identifies trends and issues, uncover new insights, and fine-tune operations to meet business goals and drive ROI.

Without true comprehensive data there is nothing for businesses to analyze, without proper analysis there is no indication for effective conclusions. Validated conclusions lead to overall improved business performance metrics. These metrics include examining best business performances, specific areas that need improvement, and areas that are yielding success so that we can acquire additional data and pattern those successes.

PredictabilityTM is an example of how what you measure becomes what you get. If you can measure data, control it and understand it, you can surely improve upon it. Senior management demands for better fiscal responsibility, a more sustainable engagement and more predictable outcomes. Planners and organizers can now strategically select and predict true profitability of each and every event before they attend through data collection, analysis and actionable conclusions.

Bob Hughes, principal of The Hughes Group, started in the trade show industry in 1981. The Hughes Group’s suite of solutions called Smarter Exhibiting includes the Predictability ROI solution, which helps clients forecast and predict the profitability of upcoming shows.

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