trade show goals

5 Steps in Setting Up Actionable Trade Show Goals

January 30, 2023

Your efforts at trade show advertising stand a better chance of success if you can establish measurable trade show goals and define the relationship between those goals and specific components of your marketing strategy. Setting goals for trade show marketing is an iterative and adaptive process that requires preparation beforehand and diligent monitoring of trade show outreach activities and their effects on your business.

Step #1: Assess Your Business Needs

Your trade show marketing will lack a coherent core unless you can articulate how the trade show serves the needs of your business. What outcome do you hope to achieve? Create a current list of business priorities, including:

  • Increasing market share
  • Reaching specific target audiences
  • Promoting brand awareness
  • Developing specific B2B contacts
  • Gaining insight into consumer needs and desires  

Step #2: Research the Trade Show

A statement of trade show goals needs to be more than a wish list. The desired outcomes for your marketing efforts must be reasonable in light of the opportunities that the specific trade show offers. Outline the activities, interactions, and events that your business could conduct or participate in during and around the trade show,

Step #3: Determine How the Trade Show Can Meet Your Needs

Once you can quantify what the trade show offers, create a narrative that links your trade show activity to specific trade show objectives.

Step #4:  Set the Metrics for Success

Quantify the benchmarks for success for each link between an activity and a goal. For example, you could establish a goal of meeting X number of potential institutional customers during the trade show, laying the groundwork for Y number of leads and eventually yielding Z dollars in increased revenue. 

As you plan your trade show itinerary, be mindful of your trade show budget and the anticipated return on investment for every activity. You should be able to calculate the expected value of a successful trade show campaign. If some benefits of trade shows might not be tangible or measurable, explore measurable proxy variables or conduct surveys.

Step #5: Plan Your Follow-Through

Once you have implemented your trade show marketing campaign, you can determine which activities were successes and which did not meet expectations. Based on the measurable outcomes, you can answer the following questions:

  • If a marketing effort exceeded expectations for a particular metric, what are you doing to capitalize on your success?
  • If a marketing effort did not achieve its goal, why did it not succeed? 
  • How will you change your approach for future trade shows?
  • If a marketing effort fell short, can you address the shortcomings after the fact?

Plan Your Next Trade Show Advertising Campaign with Oser Communications Group

Oser Communications Group has the expertise and practical skills to help you discover how to prepare for a trade show and use the trade show environment to achieve your marketing goals. Call Oser Communications Group at (520) 721-1300 to discuss how we can help your business achieve your trade show goals.

Oser Communications Group logo

Est. 1972
Copyright ©  
All Rights Reserved