Setting objectives helps you make progress and plan for the future and understanding the purpose of objective setting can help you improve your company’s overall capability.  Objective setting is the process of planning goals and timescales that you will hopefully achieve them in.  Setting these goals establishes expectations from employees but you must manage the process and ensure that objectives are measurable to evaluate success.

Setting specific objectives for your exhibition is an important part of helping you achieve your overall marketing objectives.  With the often high costs of exhibiting and the investment you make in your exhibition stand, you really need to understand if you are getting a good return on investment, so be sure to measure your success.  While your achievements may be complex, try to simplify your goals to your staff and organise your goals in a way that each team member clearly understands what their part is.

Setting your objectives

Start thinking about what you want to achieve from the exhibition and how much you want to spend. Then come up with the exhibition and marketing plans based on these factors. Exhibiting goals should always compliment your marketing objectives.

Key Objectives to consider:

  • Do you want to gain orders? – If so set a target to achieve, based on total revenue and/or number of orders.
  • Do you want to gain sales leads? – set a target number of leads you need to capture during the exhibition. Break this number down to a daily goal and set targets for staff manning the stand.
  • Do you want to make contacts? – depending on the nature of your business you might be looking to meet certain people i.e. potential distributors or new recruits. You need to set a target of the number of contacts and decide what data you want to capture for each contact.
  • Could this be an opportunity to perform market research? – decide on what information you need to gain and keep your questionnaire as concise as possible. Set a target of completed questionnaires and break this number down into daily goals. You could offer a small incentive to encourage people to participate.
  • Are you planning on launching new products/services or raising product brand awareness? – success can be difficult to measure here, so you should aim to gather prospects to follow up after the exhibition, perhaps by using a prize draw or competition.

The reason for setting objectives is to give you a way to review results and assess the success of the exhibition. This information will enable you to plan more effectively for your next exhibition and give you targets to beat.