The first edition of The Profitable Trade Show by Michael Hough ...
is now sold out. But we are working on the next edition which we hope to publish in late 2004. Meanwhile, this web site provides practical, "how-to" information for all who produce face to face events such as exhibitions, trade shows and conferences.

Profit Tips
White Papers
Large Show Roundtable

Also Available

White Papers Index

W1 - All is Not Well

W2 - Sample of a Memo to Content Partners

W3 - Ten Commandments for Speakers

W4 - 100 Tips in 75 Minutes

W5 - All About E-Newsletters

W6 - The Other Two Legs

W7 - Five Mistakes Associations Make

W8 - 15 Attendance Promotion Tips

W9 - Ten Questions to Ask When Considering a Launch

W10 - 15 Cost-Saving Tips

W11 - 15 E-Marketing Tips

W12 - Strategic Review of a Show

W13 - Launching a New Event

W14 - Avoiding Attrition Penalties

W15 - The Case Against Audits

W16 - Co-location for Fun and Profit

W17 - Improving the Association Show

W18 - International Attendance Promotion

W19 - Helping International Visitors Obtain Visas

W20 - Fixing the Machine

Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum

Large Show Roundtable


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 Review:

  1. 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?

  2. Verify that this unique rationale is being applied to:  (a) exhibit sales; (b) attendee promotion

  3. Is the show considered an Event in its industry? What can be done to make it more so?

  4. Who are the key players in the industry (trade magazines, associations, gurus)? Do they support the show?

  5. Is the show held at the right time of the year and in the right city?

  6. Should the show co locate with another compatible event?

  7. Should the show have one or more new sponsors?

  8. Are the major show functions (sales, marketing, conference and operations) being managed properly to support the show (and its unique rationale)?

  9. How do the show’s profit margins and various benchmarks (such as promotion cost per attendee) compare to similar shows?

  10. What steps need to be taken to enhance the show’s unique position in the industry – and thus its profitability?

* * *

Michael Hough is an industry consultant and author of The Profitable Trade Show. He welcomes discussion on this topic at