What should a good debrief session contain?
A good preparation is essential to an exhibition’s success. But it is as important to follow-up efficiently post-event.
Let’s review together the characteristics of a good debrief session after a trade show!
Make it fast
A good debrief session takes place immediately after the show ends.
Try arranging it on the next working day, while memories of the event are still fresh and your team’s minds are not yet corrupted with day-to-day operation issues.
There is no need, however, to do it during the show: give your team a break. Let them enjoy their weekend first and come back energized and ready to debrief.
Have hard facts
You don’t want your debrief session to be based on opinions and arguments.
That is why you need to come prepared with hard facts. Take photos during the event of everything that seems wrong to you (a team member chewing a gum or playing with his phone, a screen not working, a poster with wrong printing, etc.). Also take photos of other booths you find inspiring.
Bring all the figures you can: number of leads captured, total spending, etc.
Don’t make this meeting a VIP one.
Anyone involved in the event and everyone present in the booth should join. They may all have interesting insights to share and things to learn.
A debrief isn’t about blaming people and pointing fingers – at least it should not be.
Be positive and turn mistakes into learning. Doing that will encourage your people to pay attention and actively participate.
Compare targets and results
Clearly compare targets and results. There is no point arguing about what could have been or should have been.
It will make the discussion much easier if everyone agrees on the basic facts.
If you are using myfairtool, it should be very easy to get all your targets and live results in one place.
Let them talk
If you want the discussion to be productive you will have to let (encourage) people talk.
Create an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their opinion to improve the show.
Build a report
It is pointless to talk about the event if nothing comes out of it.
Build a report and clearly identify everything that went wrong and what should have been done to prevent it.
Include ideas of improvement as well as inspiration you found in other booths.
The talking part is now over, let’s do something about it!
For each suggestion, select one person to be in charge as well as a deadline and make sure things are done in a timely manner.
Re-open this report before the next show
This last step is important: without it, you have wasted your time.
As soon as you confirm your next event, re-open this report and read it thoroughly. There is a lot to learn from your past mistakes!
We wish you the very best results with your future events and we’d love to hear about your own experience – please share your thoughts and insights below.