A Failure to Plan Is a Plan to Fail

Prior to committing to an event, list your goals and objectives.

  • Who is your ideal client avatar (ICA)?
  • What are their issues? What solutions can you offer?
  • How much are you willing to spend for one ICA?
  • Do you have the time and energy to commit? What impression do you want to leave?


Immediately following the event, put aside time for a thorough post mortem.

  • Return on Objectives
    • Event Revenue including but not limited to books, products, services
    • Email contact list
    • New referral partners and strategic alliances
    • New client follow up-Are they ready to commit?
  • Return on Opportunities
    • Save the dates
    • Future event registration
    • Engage with new contacts

Be clear and honest when determining your Return on Investment (ROI) for a show. Did you move the needle?

Boardwalk or Baltic?

Before you settle on an event, beware of costs over and above the booth fee. Do you need electricity and wi-fi or carpet? What the heck is drayage? Does the union handle installation and setup? Is lead retrieval available? Is it an additional charge?

A little creativity might stretch your budget to make that “Shining Star Event” possible. Does the event organizer offer any volunteer opportunities? Can you work the golf outing? Help with registration? Apply for a presentation opportunity? Conduct market research during the event? Share a booth with a strategic partner?

Before you take on an additional role around the event, you’ll want to find out if there will be any shout out to your brand or booth. Is a free sponsorship just that? Will you recoup your investment for multiple display locations? You’ve done a great job helping in the kid’s activity area, how will your new contacts find you when you’re back at your booth? Were the parents inspired to book services? Perhaps your efforts would be better focused on your own space.

Did you decide to share a space with a colleague because the price was right? Not all venues lay out perfectly for 10’X10’ or 10’X20’ spaces. Can your display accommodate one of the building’s structural support columns? Fire doors or walls can create odd shaped spaces that might be perfect for a sole proprietor.

Ask questions!

Cheesecake with Ghee and Glee

We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort. Jesse Owens

When I first started in this business, there was no grade school primer to guide me. I made a lot of rookie mistakes. Some more costly than others. Now, looking back I can laugh but at the time, small mix ups seemed catastrophic. My family can attest to the determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort that we’ve put forth to bring us to this successful place-living the dream.

Most of us are pretty narrow minded, we don’t dream big enough. If you don’t dream big, you can’t step into the possibilities. You’ll never have the chance to discover the opportunities. Regina Belle sang it:


If I was unaware, if I didn’t care

About people and places and things

How could I live a life full and satisfied

Now knowing how to dream

When I dream, oh, yeah

When I dream, I dream in color


That big technicolor dream needs to be pretty specific as well. Who are you trying to reach? What message do you want to share with them? What rock are they living under? How will you reach them? As you are dreaming and exploring your ideas, be sure to communicate with everyone around you. Be specific about what you’re looking for but accept feedback and suggestions that might help flesh out your ideas. No idea is too big or too small. Don’t dismiss suggestions or advice.

Identify a need and figure out how to meet that need. Widen your focus, go outside your comfort zone. Use a spray gun approach here rather than a paintball. Remember that your solutions don’t have to be perfect. You just have to solve the problem enough to give the client the idea. You’re telling the stories that you’ve written. Your goal is Speed to Market. You can’t do everything yourself. Know your strengths, you can hire out the rest. Look for a partner with their own strengths that can complement yours.

Use trends to guide your business plan. You need to be one step ahead. Set goals for yourself-one year, five year and long term strategic but don’t be afraid to tweak those plans. If something isn’t working, don’t follow the plan blindly. It’s like your life-always changing.

As you move forward, you’ll want to measure your positive results in connections not revenue. Remember you’re building relationships not transactions. Those connections and your communication will keep you moving forward.

I welcome you to connect and reach out on BVisible Blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram or for virtual coffee or tea. Have an amazing and profitable day.