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Exhibition Performance Analysis: From the Selection of Measurable Criteria to ROI

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.

Contents

1. Importance of Exhibition Performance Assessment
2. Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI)
3. Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA)
4. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI)
5. 3-Stage Exhibition Performance Assessment Model from United States.
6. Trace and Assess Actual Contracts Made through Follow-up Activities
7. Exhibition Performance Analysis and Assessment in Hewlett Packard

1. Importance of Exhibition Performance Assessment
According to Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), the total number of exhibitions held worldwide is 31,370 annually, and the participants amount to 2.9 million companies and 255 million individuals. As the number of exhibitions has increased as companies’ the most convenient marketing and promotion tool and the investment on these events have grown rapidly, a tendency to quantify the economic returns of the participation has been spread over the world since 2000.

South Korea is not an exception. Companies and organizations have participated in many exhibition programs and Korea Federation of Small and Mediu Business, municipalities and other SMB-related organizations as well as the central government have been provided financial aid programs – amounting to tens of billions of won – for companies to help participate in hundreds of overseas exhibitions. However, we don’t have any system that can accurately assess and analyze the performance of the participation. Indeed, although many of domestic companies have participated in overseas events, hoping that they could get some visible results in terms of overseas market exploitation or exports, but it is unclear that how much they can obtain from those events.
Institutes and experts in advanced countries have consistently highlighted the importance of quantitative assessment of the exhibition performance at least for developing more strategic participation activities while helping companies gain more from the participation. Andy Bass, the Vice President of George P. Johnson also strengthened the importance of measurement and assessment of the performance in an article titled, “Do you measure up?” in the March, 2011 issue of Exhibiting.
He addressed that the effectiveness of the exhibition participation increases by 42% if the participant company has a proper performance measurement program. The five guidelines he suggested for the measurement and assessment of the exhibition performance are;

1) Measure the right performance which is relevant to the participation purpose;
2) Have universal, consistent criteria applicable to all events, nations and regions;
3) Standardize the measurement tools and assessment procedures;
4) Have a preliminary assessment procedure prior to an event;
5) Have and remain in a big picture while assessing the effects. As these guidelines highlight, it is very important for companies to have a specific purpose when participating in exhibitions and to have a firm criteria for accurate assessment.

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