Ten Questions to Ask When Considering a Launch

  1. Does the show have a truly unique rationale? That is, does it fill a need that the market wants but which no other event does?
  2. Has anyone else tried the idea? If not, why not? If yes, are they succeeding and if they are, what makes you think you will also succeed?
  3. Is the “community of interest” (or universe) large enough to support this show? As a rule of thumb, about 1% of the show’s universe can be enticed to attend.
  4. Likewise, is the potential size of the exhibit large enough to generate a sufficient profit? In general, a 200-booth show only breaks even; it takes a 500-booth show to really start making money.
  5. Can you identify (and reach) the community of interest? That is, are there lists or other sources that you can access?
  6. Have you chosen a location/time of year that serves the unique needs of the market?
  7. What do the bellwether exhibitors think of the idea? More important, will they put down a deposit for a booth?
  8. What do the industry leaders (associations, magazines, gurus) think of the idea? [Note that some will oppose it because it is competitive with their agenda while others will voice their support only to please you. You must read between the lines to divine their true sentiment.] Also, will these industry leaders appear on your conference program?
  9. Do you have the long-term resources (staff and financial) to make the idea work? Especially in these times, it will likely take 2 to 3 years to have a successful show.
  10. Have you set go/no go hurdles at predetermined points so you can make an objective decision to kill it if it is not succeeding?

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