Strategic Review of a Show
by Michael R. Hough
Whether a show is 20 years old or just launching,
it can be improved by undertaking a Strategic Review. A Strategic
Review is a fresh look at everything long range – from its position
in the market to the outside relationships it has. Typically,
this review does not get into tactical matters, but this can be
done in a follow-on study.
Here is what is included in a typical Strategic
Establish/re-establish the unique rationale
for the show. What is the state of the overall market in which
the show exists? Consider the show’s position in this market;
what is its competition; and how is it perceived by exhibitors
and attendees? Does the show’s stated rationale compel participation
by the target exhibitors and attendees?
Verify that this unique rationale is being
applied to: (a) exhibit sales; (b) attendee promotion
Is the show considered an Event in its industry?
What can be done to make it more so?
Who are the key players in the industry (trade
magazines, associations, gurus)? Do they support the show?
Is the show held at the right time of the
year and in the right city?
Should the show co locate with another compatible
Should the show have one or more new sponsors?
Are the major show functions (sales, marketing,
conference and operations) being managed properly to support
the show (and its unique rationale)?
How do the show’s profit margins and various
benchmarks (such as promotion cost per attendee) compare to
What steps need to be taken to enhance the
show’s unique position in the industry – and thus its profitability?
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Michael Hough is an industry consultant and author
of The Profitable Trade Show. He welcomes discussion on this topic