Take Time to Plan

calendar_544231_24730006 When we were first dating, my (now) husband found out that I enjoy downhill skiing and suggested that we go on a ski trip to Colorado, which I happily accepted. Our first morning on the mountain, I informed him that I was going to take a quick lesson to “get my legs under me.” He agreed to come with me and I signed us up for a fairly high level class. At the top of a rather challenging run, the ski instructor polled the class asking how many had been in lessons earlier in the week, how many of us were out for the first time this season, etc. When my husband didn’t raise his hand for any of the categories, I turned to him and said, “You have skied before right?” His answer  – “Not really. I figured I’d get to the top and gravity would pretty much do the work to get me down.”  Now, I guess that’s a plan of sorts – just not a particularly good plan.

I get the feeling that many organizations prepare for their trade shows using the “just getting down the hill” approach. They figure they’ll just fill out the paperwork, send a booth and a couple of salespeople and the leads will somehow fall into the sales funnel. But, just as our ski instructor pointed out to my husband that there’s more to skiing than just “making it down the hill” the same holds true for trade shows. So take the time to take the necessary steps to prepare your strategies, your team and your measurement tactics and you’ll feel more like you’re actually skiing than just making it down the hill and wondering how you got there without getting hurt.

Do you have a story about a time you did something challenging (trade show or otherwise) without really having a plan? What did you learn?

Susan Brauer About Susan Brauer

Susan Brauer, CME and president at Brauer Consulting Group, has more than 20 years experience in the trade show and events industry. Her experience in setting strategic, quantifiable objectives, promoting and strengthening key corporate messages and demonstrating ROI has led her to also become a sought-out speaker at national trade show events and conferences. Susan’s areas of expertise include strategic goal-setting, event measurement programs, booth staff training and hands-on, interactive workshops.

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