Ten Questions to Ask When
Considering a Launch
by Michael R. Hough
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- Can you identify (and reach) the community of
interest? That is, are there lists or other sources that you
- Have you chosen a location/time of year that
serves the unique needs of the market?
- What do the bellwether exhibitors think of the
idea? More important, will they put down a deposit for a booth?
- 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?
- 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.
- 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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Michael Hough is an industry consultant and author
of The Profitable Trade Show. He welcomes discussion on this topic