Before attending a trade show, or hosting a corporate event of your own, it’s important to cover your bases and prepare for success. By understanding the 5 W’s of your event, your event planning will run more smoothly and be something you can reference back to if you lose focus.
Who– Who is your target audience? As an exhibitor, who do you want to attract to your booth? As show management, what brands do you want to bring to your attendees? As a corporate event host, who will benefit from this shared experience?
After deciding who your target audience is, you can answer specific questions. Does your audience reside in a specific region? What is the demographic of the audience? How will the audience impact the event as a whole? Are there specific schedules of your audience that need to be taken into account?
What– What is the main take away for this event? What are the specific aspects that make this event THE event to go to this year? What aspects of your event needs to be decided months before the event? What elements can be planned a few days before? (hint: none) What amenities need to be present at your events? What does the event schedule look like? How long do your events need to be to get the message across and to make a lasting impression on attendees?
When– When will this event take place? Is there a time of year that your desired venue is available? Is there a time of year that is less hectic in your desired city? What will the weather be like during your desired event dates? Is there a specific time of year when your audience is most/least busy? How often will this event take place? Will the event take place during a specific time in a sales cycle for your audience?
Where– Where is your event going to take place? What venue, in what city? Where will attendees stay if they come from out of town? Is there an airport, public transportation or accommodations around the desired location? How easy is it to get to your desired venue or city? Where do most of your attendees live?
Why– Everything you do for your event will have a purpose. Why did you choose “this” over “that”? What are the overall goals of the event and what should you record for changes for future events?
If you have a concrete Who, What, When, Where and Why determined for your event, you can better plan for the more detailed elements of your event, and stay focused on your goals.