All of your hard work has paid off and your exhibition or event is now over, finished right?
Wrong. Following on from an event you’ll have lots of data that needs sorting out. You will also need to consider your next steps in order to make sure all the hard work during the show hasn’t been wasted.
What is a Debrief?
You may come away from your exhibition feeling positive and feeling that the event has been a total success. Realistically, you may be the only one thinking that, and your data may suggest otherwise.
Conducting an after event debrief will allow you to get feedback from other staff members who attended the show and gives you a chance to have a look at the data you’ve brought back from the event.
The debrief meeting allows you to ask a series of targeted questions about the event, drawing to a conclusion at the end. By doing this, you are able to look at what happened during the event, how you can do things better for the next show and how better to use this experience.
An event debrief provides concrete evidence of what worked, what didn’t, how effective your staff were and allows you to draw up your conclusion for better planning.
Here are our 5 tips for debriefing your team after an event:
1. Plan the Event Debrief Before The Event:
Give event staff a guide of questions you will be asking after the event at the event debrief so they can make mental notes during the event.
This is a great opportunity to make your staff feel involved in the planning of the event. It also gives them a basis of criteria that you will be judging performance on which is likely to motivate them in performing the best they can in those areas.
2. Debrief and Celebrate All In One!
After attending a fast-paced and high-pressure event, staff may dread the thought of attending a debrief straight after. They may rush through the debrief to get home and relax so to get the most out of the event debrief, schedule it for a few days after the event. Consider combining the debrief with a celebration of the event itself.
In the meeting, make sure you include photos and statistics from the event so staff are able to visually see their performance in a clear and enticing way. Put your post-event statistics into clear diagrams so staff are easily able to evaluate how successful the event was for your company. Quantifying statistics from the event like attendees, leads, sales generated etc. is a great motivator for staff as gives them an indication of how they can excel at the next event.
3. Review your Pre-event or Exhibition Objectives
When attending an exhibition or trade show it is important to set objectives beforehand, this is because you and your staff need to have a clear idea of what the aim of the exhibition is and how to achieve that. Going to an exhibition without objectives is like going in blind, what do you want to get out of it? Why are you actually there? Don’t just go to an exhibition “because we go every year”.
Not only do you need to set objectives, but you also need to be SMART about them. If you are unsure as to what SMART objectives are, we have a great article on SMART Objectives for an Exhibition.
There is no point in taking the time to set SMART objectives for your event or exhibition if they are not going to be evaluated after the event. Your debrief meeting is the ideal opportunity to discuss your objectives set prior to the event and determine whether these were met, how they were met and if they were not met, then why they were not met and how they can be met at the next event.
It is just as important to evaluate the success of an event as it is to determine improvements from the event, even experienced exhibitors can learn new tactics and improvements for future events.
4. Review Staff Feedback from the Event
Ask your staff to answer the questions you set them prior to the event and discuss unanimous themes across the workforce. If there are certain points that keep arising then investigate them further so you can act on them at your next event.
Including your staff in the evaluation of an event will make them feel part of the team and motivate them for future events if they feel their ideas and feedback is being taken into consideration.
5. Conclude and Plan Objectives for Next Event
An event debrief can often deter from its set path as people may branch off in a discussion of certain questions. A lot of different aspects of an event can be covered in a debrief so it is vital that you draw a conclusion at the end which outlines all the key points that were talked about so nothing is forgotten.
This is also a good opportunity to plan objectives for your next event based on the results and feedback received from the debrief meeting.
The debrief is a vital part of the whole process and allows you to gather important and helpful feedback which you can use for future events. It also gives you an overview of what went well, what didn’t, and ideas for a better approach for future exhibitions and events.
We hope these tips help your next exhibition debrief to run smoothly.
At XL Display we are experts in exhibition stand design and offer a wide range of display equipment, from portable displays, such as pop up display stands, to bespoke exhibition stands.
For more information on our product range or graphic design service, please contact us or call us on 01733 511030.