The cooperation with a globally operating mechanical engineering company began with an urgent e-mail from the Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing. He was commissioned by the management to present an improved approach to manage the success of trade shows.
Up to that point, the “measurement of success” has mainly consisted of looking at the value of contracts concluded during an event. Over the years, this inevitably led to the sales department deliberately closing project contracts during the trade show. Existing customers have been encouraged to place their orders during the trade fair – even if the purchasing decisions had already been made in advance. Accordingly, the objective was to develop an accurate concept that could model the influence of trade fair attendances on the company’s strategic objectives and that can be applied across business units, countries and markets.
Phase 1: Development of a customised trade fair scorecard
insidery develops solutions tailored to the individual customer needs. In the course of discussing possible KPI models, it soon became clear that our client needs solutioning for measuring the effectiveness of trade fair activities in the market, the assessment of the (financial) resources used, and a strategic management tool to control the cooperation and internal processes – ideally all in one single system.
To meet these requirements, since years insidery has been relying on the adaptation of the Balanced Scorecard concept, which is specifically optimised for use in live marketing: the MesseScorecard (FairScorecard).
The implementation process started with a common understanding of the target vision of the marketing and sales activities within the company. A comprehensive audit was followed by qualitative in-depth interviews with relevant stakeholders: Representatives from trade fairs, marketing and sales as well as the management of the business units and group brands were included. The insights gained on strategic objectives, the derivation of the operational processes and necessary requirements to achieve them – these are the main topics of an alignment workshop. This is then followed by the development of meaningful target dimensions from a market, process, financial and employee perspective, including the operationalisation of corresponding KPIs for a holistic view of performance. In this case we also followed this approach.
Phase 2: Implementation and worldwide roll-out.
The practical suitability of the MesseScorecard is being tested in a pilot project: After the successful initial deployment of the MesseScorecard at the company’s leading trade fair in Germany, the tool was implemented in the major business units in the European market.
In addition, due to the Scorecards’s high level of acceptance in upper management, the smaller segments of the company also expressed their demand to use the MesseScorecard and to adapt it to their specific objectives and also to smaller event formats.
In the following year, large and small trade fair participations in Europe, the United States and Asia were already managed with the MesseScorecard – and the tool was rolled out worldwide.
From the “black box trade fair” to a holistic controlling system: The rudimentary evaluation of the trade fair success by contract closures on site was replaced by a control-oriented, holistic KPI system.
insidery was able to make a substantial contribution to the situation that not only made the performance of the trade fair presentations transparent, but with it the strategic change management also became feasible. From 0 to 100, so to speak: Our customer was put in the comfortable position of being able to manage their trade fair appearances worldwide, strategically and sustainably, despite the high complexity within the company.
With the MesseScorecard, the organization has a comprehensive system of key figures at its disposal that meets the requirements of all stakeholders involved. For several years now, our customer has been able to achieve significant increases in efficiency while simultaneously increasing effectiveness. Budgets are invested in a more systematic manner, processes are continuously improved, internal cooperation is facilitated – and, in addition, the strategic objectives in the market are consistently pursued: Targeting is improving, messages are communicated in a more demand-oriented way and more leads are generated.
Some contracts are still being signed during the trade fair – but it is rather the relevant account manager and the press department that are interested in them than the senior management.
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