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H ow do you measure your exhibiting success? Indeed, how do any of us actually define success? If you are a politician, success appears to be anything that happens to you at the ballot box, whereas failure appears to be anything that happens to anyone else. For example: " Okay, so I lost by 39,000 votes and all my leaflets were used to build a bonfire, but I can assure you that it was a better and more substantial bonfire than any of my opponents managed". As a father, I judge success by getting a smile out of my rather truculent teenage offspring, while as a rugby coach I judge success as getting 15 lads on the pitch every weekend. As a marketing professional, I judge success as the traveller national television to proclaim my merits as the best dad on Earth, I would get thumped. And, finally, if I go to every work meeting assuming I know all the answers to any and every client's needs, you've guessed it, more thumping. But this time of the rather more painful kind, that is to say to the wallet. You see, it's really important to start off knowing what constitutes success, keep that front and centre of all thinking, and work towards those aims. Nowhere is this more true than in the exhibition industry. One of the very first things to ask yourself, or your team should be: " What do we want to get out of this show, what do we term as ' success' and how will we get it?" identifying a client's needs and either delivering success against them, or saying I cant ( because a good marketer should be able to do both). The thought occurs to me, by the way, that if I revised my standards, I might be more successful. I can always get a smile out of my rugby lads, while as a dad I can always identify my teenager daughter's needs, namely credit on her mobile phone. But, and here's the nub of this month's feature, in all three cases I start each process knowing what will be success. Let me elaborate; I coach a junior rugby club's under- 17s team. We are quite good and we give it a fair old go, but if we played Wasps Academy, we would get thumped. My teenage daughter is not at all difficult, but if I tried to get her on ? EXHIBITING- July/ August 2010 www. exhibitingmagazine. co. uk 43 Working to achieve your goals Aboveline's travelling account manager Andy Lewisunfolds his campaign plan of action and considers his exhibiting mission. Exhibitions can be where its at for building success, if properly used

44 EXHIBITING- July/ August 2010 www. exhibitingmagazine. co. uk the traveller Many of the pre- show briefings I attend are defined by clients knowing what they want onthe stand ( how many fridges, what graphics, how many shelves etc). However, very few are defined by clients knowing what they want from the stand. Inevitably, when targets have not been defined they become more nebulous, more ambitious and therefore, less likely to be achieved. Military commanders call it mission creep, and I encourage you to adopt this phrase too. Think of your next event as a mission. Plan it with a desired outcome in mind and ensure that everything you do is geared to delivering that. Here is an example for you to consider: my business exhibits every year at a happily chaotic exhibition in London. We go there to get three potential new accounts. No other reason. No particular brand extension campaign, no specific networking, no new product launch, nothing. Just three new accounts to be won and we'll be very happy. To do so, my colleague and I put all our considerable efforts; we combine our charm, knowledge of the industry, talent and personal affability ( and my ability to fetch coffee) into delivering a successful result. And you know what, it works and we succeed. My point to you this month is: have a goal for your event and make it realistic. Don't aim for 789 new accounts by the end of the exhibition, or to simply have given away all your brochures. Ensure what you do, who you get to do it and the stand or space you use is geared to your mission, and then go for it. Anyway, I must dash as my beloved daughter has just got here and I have six hours in which to make her smile. Choices include showing her my new trendy shirt, telling her a rubbish joke or two, or discussing the British electoral system. It won't be easy, but at least I know what I have to do. " Think of your next event as a mission, plan it with a desired outcome in mind and ensure everything you do is geared to delivering that" Obtaining one or two primary targets will feel so much better than hitting 50 per cent of 10