Big business constantly sets goals, targets, and analyzes results. It’s how they compete with other brands, it’s how they grow, and it’s how they develop products. You may have heard a lot of buzzwords around all of these areas, but there is one (well two actually) that should stick out: measurable goals.

Before you setup your booth, before you talk to a single customer, make sure you set a measurable goal for the day. You can have multiple, but having one is critical. Write it down. Inform your teamThen make sure to follow up on it. Here are some next steps and examples of measurable goals you can set and advice on how to analyze your results quickly after the show.

Setting a Measurable Goal

A measurable goal is one that you can easily measure in a quantifiable fashion. It doesn’t need to be physical ( # of draw entries or leads generated), but it needs to be something you can measure. If your goal is intangible or impossible to measure you will not be able to judge your ROI, gain insights, and set next steps and action plans.

Ask Yourself…

First, get all the stakeholders together. This may be you and your partner, it may be some of your staff, or it may just be yourself. Next, work through these questions together. If you have multiple answers to each question, write them down.

  • Why do I want to exhibit at the showcase?
  • What products or services will I be showcasing?
  • What do I hope to achieve from the showcase?

This should give you a pretty good idea of what you want to get out of your time at the show and get the juices flowing around goal setting.

Be SMART About your Goal

Being SMART will help keep your goal reasonable and achievable. Ask yourself if your goal or goals meets the following criteria:

  • Is your goal Specific?
  • Is your goal easily Measurable?
  • Is your goal Achievable?
  • Is your goal Realistic?
  • Is your goal Time Bound?

Keep in mind where you will be, who will be there, and what distractions people may have. You want to set a goal that is ambitious, or will get you answers to a question to have been having about your business, but you also want to make sure your goal fits the setting and can realistically be achieved within the parameters of the showcase.

Strategize!

So you have a clear, measurable, SMART goal. Great! Now, what are you going to do about it? How do you plan on selling 100 products? How are you going to get 300 new social media followers?

Get creative and set some strategies. These can be small goals that help you to achieve the main goal, or they can be specific tasks you set out to accomplish.

For example, if you want to gain 300 new Facebook followers, you could advertise a Facebook Campaign to people at the event, hold a draw for all those who like your Facebook page. Hand out cards with the draw information to visitors or help them do it on their phone right at the event.

Whatever you decide, think of strategies and make sure they are clear and communicated to your audience and staff at the booth. If your staff at the booth do not know your main goal is to sell 100 products, and they don’t know about the strategies you have set up, it will make it difficult for them to follow the plan and help you get there. I know it sounds crazy, but it has happened. Make sure everyone is on the same page, a unified front, before the event.

Measuring your Measurable Goal

I have seen it before, and I am sure I will see it again. Spend the time to set up the goal, then make sure to spend the time looking at it after the fact. Did you hit your goal? Why or why not?

  • Was my goal reasonable?
  • Were there any outside factors I didn’t think of when setting my goal?
  • What strategies worked best to promote my goal?
  • Which strategies didn’t work?
  • Did everyone follow through on what they were supposed to do?
  • What other items may have lead to success or failure of the goal?

Sit down for 30 minutes the day after the showcase and think through these questions, then write down your ideas. You may be busy, but it’s important to take the time. It’s also a good idea to do this as soon after the event as possible, while the information is still fresh in your mind. You may want to ask your business partner or teammates to complete the same exercise separately and then come together to compare notes. This will mean everyone can process and then share their own learnings and opinions from the event. Who knows, they might just catch things you would have completely missed! Just think how helpful this information will be at your next exhibit when you are planning!

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