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Exhibition Performance Analysis: From the Selection of Measurable Criteria to ROI 7. Hewlett Packard’s Approach to Assess Trade Show Performances

In this article, we discuss advanced exhibition result analyses and the relevant assessment frameworks focusing on the cases from Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA) and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), 3-stage exhibition performance assessment model suggested by American marketing researchers and Hewlett Packard (HP)’s trade show follow-up practices, where it is possible to not only quantitatively evaluate the performance of participation, but also to assess return on trade show investment (ROTSI).

It is expected that the comparison of these advanced exhibition assessment frameworks can facilitate the further discussion over the accuracy and efficiency of established exhibition assessment models, which have been required to be improved in its quantitative and economic feasibility, so that the tens of billions of won government aids on hundreds of foreign exhibition events could have more fruitful results.

7. Hewlett Packard’s Approach to Assess Trade Show Performances
: Trade show as an opportunity for financial gains, not a show-off event

HP is a multinational computer and internet appliance and service provider based in 170 countries world wide. This computer giant that seems to have no further goals to achieve, has endeavored to accurately measure and assess the impacts of new business plans.

HP’s efforts become outstanding when it comes to its large exhibitions. As the importance of the exhibitions grows in the electronic appliances and internet solution market, HP focused on the effectiveness of the exhibition performance and tried to measure and assess it ever since they noticed the importance. Furthermore, the leadership of HP including the CEO became to clearly understand in no time that they must always have a clear answer to the question ? how you can make the exhibition lead to the growth of the business? So the trade show performance measurement and assessment framework of HP has become the most robust and sound compared to those of other companies.

HP ? 6-Phased Trade Show Assessment Framework
The framework HP developed to analyze and evaluate their trade show performances are consisting of the following six phases. First of all data is collected for analyses. The analysis results are interpreted to an objective facts. In the next step, the decisions regarding the exhibition are made based on the information derived from the analyses. Lastly, the performances are discussed and communicated. If a set of these performance analysis and assessment processes is complete, the findings and implications will base the future exhibition plans.

Tool to Analyze and Assess the Trade Show Performance
HP has conducted an objective analysis of its trade show performances through the analysis and assessment processes described above. The specific tools HP adopts for the analysis and assessment include the followings.
● AutoForms Lead Management and Measurement Tool, papers
● Post-Trade Show Internet Measurement Tool, Web
● Automated Paper Forms for Trade shows or Events, paper
● Global eLead Data Collection, electronic via hand-held devices
● Exhibit Staff Survey Tool, Web
● Web-Based Training, Web
The tools listed above are not only able to support a phased analysis, but also collect data using various ways and devices (offline, web, mobile devices, etc.) depending on the situation.

Matrix for Trade Show Performance Assessment
HP began with a simple matrix consisting of number of visitors, preliminary promotions, sales leads, PR, etc. and has developed the coverage. The completeness and comprehensiveness of the matrix is now robust since it is capable of handle not only quantitative data, but also qualitative data so that the effectiveness and the efficiency can be analyzed and assessed at the same time.

Through establishment of this robust trade show performance matrix, HP has reduced the total exhibition budget by 70% implying that the company has continued to eliminate unnecessary cost factors while investing more on promising factors based on a series of measurement of effectiveness and efficiency and objective financial decisions. For example, it has pursued a strategic approach to have a proper number of booths in proper investment and resources, instead of a bulk investment to set up a huge exhibition booth.

Self-assess Its Own Performances Reflected on an Objective Mirror
HP has been considering exhibitions as a smart management tool, instead of a huge stage to show off its technological advancements. And it has also utilized the tool to generate important marketing opportunities leading to financial gains, not letting them end in one-time events. It is not necessary to build a complete trade show assessment matrix. As HP did, it is sufficient if you just start measuring the effectiveness and efficiency, and build and develop it to a standard framework that allows you to compare with other marketing tools. The trade show performance assessment is not a show off for your competitors or customers, but should be a serious chance to objectively evaluate and check whether and how your exhibition operation and management is successful in financial terms.

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