5 Ways to be a More Effective Trade Show Event Manager

February 23rd, 2015 by Interex Exhibits



Trade show event managers have to have excellent organizational skills—that goes without saying. They also have to be able to keep their cool while juggling many things at the same time. That said, what can you do, as an event manager, to be more effective and efficient?

Continuing Education

A good event professional is constantly seeking to learn and grow. Stay up to date not just on your job, but on your industry. Subscribe to newsletters, blogs, etc., and stay up to date on the latest studies and trends. Examine new research from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, and read publications like EXHIBITOR magazine and the Trade Show News Network. You want to arm yourself with the best information possible to make good decisions, and in addition, you want to be on the cusp of what’s new and hot in the industry.

Stay current on the latest technology, and understand how that technology can be used to market more effectively. Trade show organizers are now using mobile apps for registration and floor navigation, companies are live streaming product demonstrations and exhibitors are using social media savvy to engage visitors. Technology is constantly changing and advancing—don’t be left behind the curve.


Learn from your peers. Seek out and network with fellow industry professionals. Attend other trade shows to gain inspiration, learn from others, meet people and attend speaking engagements.

Join industry organizations such as the Exhibit & Event Marketers Association that aim to help you collaborate with peers and share expertise. Check out some other relevant organizations here.


Perhaps one of the greatest challenges event managers face is the necessity of delegation. Event management is a sophisticated exercise in juggling, and no one can do it alone. Start by ensuring that you have competent professionals on your team, and then rely on them.

Related: make sure to take a break now and then. It can be tough to unplug, but trust that your team can handle things while you’re away. You can’t be at your best without the occasional rest and recharge.

Expect the Unexpected

They say the only constant in life is change—and in events, the only certainty is that things will go wrong. A good event organizer always has a backup plan for the backup plan, but remember that there will be snags. Plan for that, expect that and remain calm when it happens. Your team will feed off your attitude, and it’s as much your job to maintain a collected disposition as it is to have superb organizational skills.


Don’t let the relief of a great show wash away the motivation to do your debriefing due diligence. As important as it is to follow up on leads in a timely manner, it’s also important to get feedback. Debrief with the key players immediately after the event—that is, your staff, vendors and show organizers. Keep detailed notes, make action items, and then use that feedback at the next show.

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