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How to Audit an Event Experience

How to Audit an Event Experience

Exhibiting at trade shows and conferences often means that you are presenting your offerings right down the aisle from your closest competitors or top companies in your industry.


  • Are you keeping pace with your competitors?
  • What are competitors doing to attract your common target audience?
  • What products are competitors showcasing?
  • How are competitors messaging to/interacting with attendees?
  • What are competitors doing that you can adopt? 
  • Are you doing all you can to take advantage of this opportunity for competitive intelligence?

With all the money invested in your top trade shows and events – can you afford to fall behind your competitors in the areas that matter? Trade shows and conferences are prime opportunities to understand and measure your performance relative to your competitors. Here’s a sample of how GES does this for our clients.

measure your performance relative to your competitors


Start by evaluating the performance of similar companies across a set of consistent criteria. These criteria can be developed by first identifying the client’s objectives. For example, imagine that top three things the client wants to achieve through its exhibit are:

  1. Demonstrate Differentiation

  2. Demonstrate Innovation

  3. Immerse Attendees in Comprehensive Exhibit Journey



Once you have identified objectives, develop consistent criteria to measure performance for each objective. Make it specific to the event and to the client. In addition, to the greatest extent possible, keep these KPIs objective – avoid opinion-based criteria. For example, for the above three objectives, criteria might include:

  • Demonstrate Differentiation
    • Exhibitor’s differentiators presented
    • Differentiators presented in a clear and concise manner
    • Exhibit integrates live, specialist-driven presentations into the space for the purpose of integrating differentiators into the exhibit experience beyond messaging/signage
  • Demonstrate InnovationImmerse Attendes in Comprehensive Journey
    1. Exhibit features a futuristic orientation that promotes the company’s unique vision of the future
    2. Exhibit expands attendee understanding of the company
    3. Exhibit connects to future trends prominent at the event
  • Immerse Attendees in Comprehensive Journey
    The exhibit features clear wayfinding to enable attendees to navigate the space along
    intended pathways
    1. Intended pathways tie the various elements of the exhibit together
    2. Intended pathways encourage attendees to visit all areas of the exhibit through a comprehensive ‘journey’ orientation

Evaluate Competitors Across Consistent Criteria

Using the criteria developed, evaluate the performance of your client and its competitors. By using the same criteria, you can more easily see how these competitors stacked up. The consistent criteria also enable your client to easily see where to improve performance.



Make the changes needed to take that specific client event to the next level, and use the data to tweak your own events in similar circumstances. Your data helps inform the client on the best ways to capitalize on spending, staffing resources and time. It also makes you a valuable partner and builds trust and respect in your client partner relationship.