When is a trade show over?

When the last attendee has left the building? When the display is crated for storage? No. The answer is that it’s never really truly over. However, a critical part of winding down is your wrap-up meeting, or debriefing session where you summarize and evaluate how well you did at the event.

Your post-show report should cover the following five areas:

1. Track the quantifiables. How many people came to the booth? What percentage were qualified? How many current customers did you see? How did the actual budget and attendance numbers stack up against pre-show projections?

2. Get attendees’ feedback. Have attendees fill out a survey, or email them an online survey getting their reactions to all aspects of your display from staffers’ attitude to product image.

3. Don‘t forget the staff members. Smart exhibit staff can describe what succeeded and offer great suggestions for improvement next time.

4. Rate your staffers. Note the details of how well they handled various situations. If someone dealt especially well with a crisis, single them out for praise in the written report.

5. Plan a course of action. You’ve obtained valuable leads and feedback. Plan concrete, quantifiable ways to use them. Start now to incorporate the suggestions for improvement into your next trade show. Schedule a meeting with the sales department in thirty days to track how your hard-won leads are panning out.

Remember, the key to your exhibiting success is your ability to follow up and track your leads. fff


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