This post was originally published on January 8th, 2020 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

As the world continues to jump back to business and live events are in full swing, it's a great time to pulse check and see if your established event goals are meeting your brand's needs still, given the current landscape. 

Setting the right goals is key to any successful event campaign. The question is: How do you know whether the goals you set are the right ones?

Sure, you can just set the goal of “make sales” and hit a certain number of people at your exhibit and call it a day, but this doesn’t really give you a full understanding of your marketing team’s success — or lack thereof.

So how do you go about setting the right goals? We recommend using the S.M.A.R.T. goal framework.

How To Set The Right Goals For A Successful Trade Show


The What Now?


S.M.A.R.T. stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. By making sure each of your goals hits all five of these categories, you’re going to have benchmarks in place that fully measure your success.

Download Now: The Ultimate Guide to Designing a Trade Show Booth


Here’s an example of how the S.M.A.R.T. framework can be put into action:

target_icon_steelhead_1Specific: We want to generate 100 leads at this trade show.


SH%20Blog%20Icon%20200x200_8.13_Bargraph-1Measurable: Someone who submits their name and email address at our exhibit counts as a lead.


thumbs-up_icon_steelhead_1Achievable: We need to get at least 5 leads each of the 20 hours we are at the show in order to hit 100 leads.


steelhead_icon_consistent-checkmark-1-1Relevant: We need to only gather names and emails because getting more information will be too much to ask on the crowded trade show floor.


clock_icon_steelhead_1Time Bound: We’re only going to count the leads we get during the show itself. Any leads captured before or after the show won’t count toward our goal.


One More Thing …

We know this is a lot to take in, so while we think putting together a S.M.A.R.T. framework for your next campaign is important, don’t freak out if your campaign doesn’t hit every letter in the acronym your first time out.

Why? Because the more you use the S.M.A.R.T. framework, the more data you’re going to get over time to inform your campaigns and booth designs. That’s going to make following the S.M.A.R.T. framework easier over time. And don't forget to set both Sales and Marketing goals, as we  all know how these can differ.

You can learn more about designing a cool exhibit that drives results for your brand with our free resource. Download The Ultimate Guide to Designing a Trade Show Booth today!

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The Ultimate Guide to Designing a Trade Show Booth

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