Five Types of Goals for a SMART Exhibitor

There are many ways to maximize your trade show and event investment. Be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) with your objectives to ensure you are setting your team up for success. Here are five variables to consider when identifying goals for your next event.


  1. Be Specific!

Align with key stakeholders before the event to determine how everyone defines show success. Are new leads more important to your team or do you gain more from maintaining and meeting with current clients? What will make your experience meaningful? Also, make sure team members are specific about the outcomes of their meetings by providing detailed notes after each one.


  1. Make them Measurable.

Goals like heightening brand awareness and demonstrating new products are important but harder to measure. Be strategic about how you can collect data and report results at the end of the event. Use social media and hashtags to help observe real time brand awareness. Keep track of how long attendees are staying for your product demo and consider other methods of capturing sentiment using today’s technology. If you can create a unique website page specific to the show and track traffic to that page as a metric, you can measure engagement before and after the show as well.


  1. Are They Achievable?

Dreaming big can lead to amazing results, but when it’s time to outline your team’s goals, attainability is crucial. You can still challenge your onsite staff and see a positive outcome. Exhibiting at multiple trade shows and events gives you a larger opportunity to put your brand front and center and allows more room to grow and accomplish your objectives over time. If goals are perceived to be out of reach, it can de-motivate your team which can lead to potentially missing your objectives.


  1. Are They Relevant?

Your goals may differ from everyone else on the show floor and that’s okay! For example, brand awareness and product recognition may be more important to your company than generating new leads. Review findings from the last event, prep your onsite team, and focus your efforts on the tasks offering value for your company.


  1. Set Them as Time-Bound.

Any goal is easier to achieve when there is a clear view of an end target. Want to generate 50 new leads at the next event? By setting an amount to aim for, your team will most likely surpass that number. Leaving things open-ended can produce mixed results. Be sure to set a specific timeframe for when lead follow up is required. Timeliness of responses is always critical to keep potential leads hot.


To really get the most out of exhibiting, schedule a post-show wrap up with your team where everyone can share learnings from the event and discuss what did and didn’t work this time. In addition, develop a solid plan for follow-up with new leads and meetings to continue the dialogue.


By being tactical and creating SMART goals, exhibitors can increase their ROI, boost onsite staff morale, and find value in exhibiting.

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