What started out as a short blog post following larger engagements working with CEOs on trade shows in Las Vegas, Dublin, Berlin, Vienna, Marseille, and elsewhere, turned in to a 20+ page brief: “10 questions every CEO should ask to maximize the ROI of  trade shows.”  You can download the entire brief, or follow along in the coming days as we post each of the ten questions along with our guidance.

But why would a marketing growth firm write a 20+ page piece on trade shows?  After all, we’re not a trade show company, and we don’t “do” trade shows—or at least, when we do, it’s as a part of a larger marketing initiative, typically launching a company or a product.

What finally convinced us of the need was a trade show where just about everything that could go wrong did. Despite being the picture of calm and professionalism on the surface, it was excruciating and hurt the company’s prospects at the show and afterward. And didn’t have to be.

It was a bet-the-farm launch. This was a major industry event and the attitude was “go big or go home.” And as often happens in these cases, the founding CEO, whose future seems to be riding on this one show, stepped in and took over.

What we saw reminded us that just because you have the power to do something doesn’t mean that you should—a useful reminder in many different situations—and that the insights we’ve gained over many years aren’t obvious.

When we went looking for other information on this topic, what we saw was narrowly tactical and often written from the perspective of someone whose job is trade shows, either inside a company or as a trade show vendor.

No one had written something to help CEOs with the decision they’re asked to make.

Let us know if these ten questions and our answers are helpful to you. 

We will publish one question each week – if you cannot wait – send us your email-address below and you get the whole e-book immediately


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