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5 Steps for Planning Your 2016 Events

2016 is just around the corner, so that means it’s time to start thinking ahead. Here are some quick tips to assist you in planning your trade shows and events for the new show season:

1. Review 2015 Budgets Against Actual Expenditure

As the year comes to a close you should be able to obtain financial records from your accounts department outlining the actual expenditure for each event you attended during the 2015 calendar year. Review this expenditure against what you had outlined in your marketing budgets so you can:

  • Ensure that your return on investment (ROI) for each event is accurate
  • Review what you have spent to pick out inefficiencies
  • See where you are spending money and come up with a plan on how best to save money or increase value for your event marketing in 2016
  • Determine whether an event should appear on your schedule for 2016
  • Determine if your 2016 budgets are accurate and sufficient

2. Create an Event Schedule for 2016

Jot down a list of events you intend to participate in for 2016. Include information for each event like:

  • Event name, date & location
  • Booth size & orientation
  • Number of booth staff, and if you are super organized – who
  • Budget for the event
  • Event objectives and goals

Your schedule may change overtime, however, this list will create a fantastic foundation for your planning and the organization of your 2016 events.

3. Create a Brief

Your brief should include all the necessary information to ensure that you meet your event objectives and goals including:

  • Key messages
  • Promotions to be used pre-show, at-show, and post show
  • Key measures of ROI or event success
  • Required look at your shows
  • Key functionality of your display, including:
    • Meeting/hospitality space
    • Audio visual integration
    • Product display/demonstration

4. Get Event Stakeholders to Review Your Brief

Once your Schedule and Brief are complete. Distribute this information to other key event stakeholders in your organization to obtain their feedback and suggestions. Doing this should increase buy-in from everyone in the early stages of planning and also ensure that you have all the key information to begin contacting exhibition partners. Your final display solution should be positively received by everyone in your organization as you have designed it around everyone’s needs, objectives and requirements.

5. Begin Contacting Potential Exhibition Partners

Begin contacting the exhibition partners that will help you bring your event objectives and goals to life.

Providing potential partners with a full event schedule and comprehensive brief will allow them to:

  • Provide you with a solution with a consistent look and feel across all your events
  • Provide a solution that is designed around your unique needs, objectives and requirements
  • Provide recommendations to reduce unnecessary expenditure, increase impact and functionality
  • Assist you to get the most value and impact from your event marketing dollar

WWEAs you prepare for your future event and trade show planning, learn from your peers in the What’s Working in Exhibiting Benchmarks and Best Practices white paper. Learn how exhibitors have improved results, stretched their budgets, and reduced risk. Click here to request you free copy and learn more.


About the Author

Samantha Heyden is the Marketing Manager for Skyline Displays Australia and has worked with Skyline since 2002. She has been responsible for developing the marketing strategies, branding and event programs for Skyline throughout Australia. Working alongside the Skyline Displays Australia Project Management Team, she has also been actively involved with assisting clients in meeting their event marketing objectives and return-on-investment with their Australian trade show displays .

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