Dilemma: How do I get management to pay attention — and a few bucks?
I’m running my company’s entire exhibit program, and somehow, I’m handling it. But I know with some help and a bit more money, we could surpass competitors in our area. How can I get management to see the benefit of an expanded program?
— Lora, Trade Show Manager
Expansion takes gumption
Simply walking into your manager’s or VP’s office and saying, “I need money” won’t get you anywhere. You’re going to have to prove why the funds you want are necessary.
To do this, our readers suggest you:
• Turn to the past to plan for the future.
• Use the competition to your advantage.
• Take the bull by the horns.
Turn to the past to plan for the future
You know how you’ve been doing at shows and how much better you could do with additional resources. Now, it’s up to you to convey what you know.
Deborah R. Herr, marketing consultant, Deborah Herr Marketing, describes how to do this.
“Prove it! Show them the numbers. Do a chart that shows the past couple of years’ results, and then plot the future at two to three different spend levels. Make your presentation look and sound professional.”
Use the competition to your advantage
When you meet with upper management, don’t rely on hypotheticals to justify how extra money could deliver better results. Point out what’s leading to the success of others.
A senior trade show/event specialist believes your competitors are the best examples of what you could accomplish.
“What ROI have you garnered so far? Show what your competitors are currently doing and the potential impact of having a similar program.”
Take the bull by the horns
A trade show director found making some changes on her own first and then doing additional research was the way to go.
“I selected a trade show vendor that not only helps me maintain our equipment and get it to and from shows, but has an employee who can assist me with placing orders for show services, etc. I also did some homework and found out I could actually save my company money by ordering new equipment, which costs less to maintain and ship and provides us with a fresh look complementing our branding program. Thus, the capital expense was approved.”