Event Planning

Where to Start with Event Program Management


Event Program Management manages the activities needed to successfully bring an organization’s presentation before their prospects attending events, trade shows, or conferences.

Program management for events encompasses the management of company assets, ordering essential services, and executing an approved game plan leading to a successful event objective. A successful program management plan will provide a crystal-clear focus on the events at hand and put in motion a process to bring sales into harmony with marketing for long-term rewards.

More specifically, it requires a systematic process of planning, executing, managing, and coordinating event services and logistics for a client’s single or entire schedule of events in which a company plans to participate. The planning and coordinating activities may be directed toward many different size events which can be local, regional, national, and international events.


Event Managers (with overflowing plates), Directors of Marketing and Sales (who need the extension of their marketing and events teams), Field Sales Managers (who are juggling many roles and need a single, streamlined system), Event program management is beneficial to organizations whose marketing or sales teams exhibit in a series of events, or need help with a single event out of their typical scope.

For event managers, program management provides the blueprint on how everything is physically orchestrated and brought to fruition. With the marketing and sales teams, it becomes the proving ground that illustrates that the mission of the two teams really are in sync and through the success illustrated with hard sales, creates an R.O.I. that drives the teams forward to greater success. And for the field sales managers, provides that systemized approach that always allows them to focus on what’s important at the moment and not have to worry about the inevitable surprise.


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Whether you are a company planning your first event or looking to improve an existing (but failing or lacking) event marketing program, you’ve come to the right place.

Tell us a Little About Your Existing Event Marketing Program? 

It’s important to have a firm grip on who you are as a business so you approach your participation in the industry with accurate information. To that end, here are a few basic questions that you should ask yourself and share with us:

  1. What is your current “new customer” acquisition cost?
  2. Describe an ideal customer?
  3. Do you know your present R.O.I. for event marketing broken down into market segments?
  4. Are there questions you ask at events that accurately discloses whether or not someone is an ideal customer?

Identify the Reason for Exhibiting 

  • Lead Generation
  • Creating or Increasing Awareness (Product, Service, Organizational)
  • Developing New Customers
  • Maintaining or Extending Relationships with Existing Customers
  • Introducing a New Product to Current Markets
  • Featuring a New Product to New Markets or Market Segments
  • Opening an Organization to a New Market
  • Introducing New Applications to Existing Markets
  • Recruiting New Distributors, Dealers or Representatives
  • Recruiting Personnel with Specialized Skills
  • Attracting Press Attention to your Company, Products or Services
  • Teaching or Learning – Informing and learning from others
  • Supporting the Industry Association
  • Counteracting Competitor Claims
  • Maintaining Pressure and Market Viability
  • Other: _______________________________________________


What are Your Specific Objectives?

  • _______________________________
  • _______________________________
  •  _______________________________


How Will You Measure Your Results?

1. Number of leads

2. Investment per lead

3. Sales generated in a specific period (6 months after the show)

4. Return on investment (ROI)

5. Number of visitors viewing a live presentation

6. Pre- or post-show surveys for perception or memorability

7. Exit interviews

8. Other

Where Common Mistakes are Made in Managing Event Programs:  

Mistakes are often made in the execution of an exhibit plan with event program management, not from the lack of effort, rather from not being aware of the small nuances in how the industry works when dealing with timelines and logistics.  Plus the nature of constant change in the industry is a part of everyday life and presents unique hazards which can cause major financial stress.  So how do we move forward?

We need to create a road map that eliminates or minimizes mistakes and provides a final plan that has a high degree of financial success. Yes, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the chance of failure which start with who you choose for your team in the first place.

Successful Program Management Teams have Knowledge & Experience:

  1. Specific knowledge of the trade show industry, and have worked inside the industry for a period of time.
  2. Knowledge of the transportation industry and how the industry functions internally.
  3. Relationships with outside vendors to the industry and know-how as a manager you can interact with them.
  4. Knowledge of how to set up a logistics program so that the process you create eliminates mistakes.
  5. Knowledge on how to break down an exhibitor kit to find all the pertinent information needed for your event.

So often it’s not what you ask that’s important, but what didn’t get asked that causes the big problems. As a long-time provider of event program management services, our team understands what questions need to be asked for every show. We then create a road map for your events that cover all the variables and establish a financial outline of what this and every other event should look like. This is how you start an event management program.

Once you have clarity in answering the above questions, you can move into the next stage, which provides additional information about program management and provides some specific options.