by Paula on March 20, 2012

In past roles in organisations as both trainer and person receiving training, there has always been discussion around the long term benefits of the learning.

In some companies it’s about the goals of the training, the relevance of the contacts and the post-training implementation plan to make sure the individual and the company benefits.

In other companies training is seen as a tick box to meet Investors in People criteria, or to satisfy the personal request of a valued member of staff.

What isn’t so often talked about is that it’s not just training but all business activities that that should be viewed with the same long term view.

For the purpose of this explanation I am going to use an example of a decision to exhibit at a Trade Show. (Excuse graphics, I never claimed to be a designer!)


  1. Think it would be a good idea to have a stand at a Trade Show.
  2. Have a look around, find a show that looks relevant to your business, book it.
  3. Get your marketing department to prepare some printed material for the show.
  4. Turn up at the show, meet lots of people, hand out lots of flyers, gather lots of business cards.
  5. Feel a great after-show buzz for a few days.
  6. Business as usual.


  1.  Think it would be a good idea to have a stand at a Trade Show
  2. Decide what you want to achieve from the stand and who you want to meet.
  3. Research events to find a Trade Show that brings in the right audience.
  4. Look at who else is exhibiting at the show, be clear about what you offer & what makes you different or better.
  5. Plan marketing material – think of what needs to be event-unique and what can be generic & used again.
  6. Think also of follow up material and how it will link.
  7. Train staff on the stand on their key objectives.
  8. Use the event as a reason to make new contacts to warm them up pre-event.
  9. Turn up at the show, meet lots of people, hand out lots of flyers, gather lots of business cards.
  10. Have a post-event meeting to evaluate objectives and plan next steps to build on contacts & PR from event.

Every activity you do as a business, whether an event, a presentation, a research project or new staff recruitment, you have the opportunity to ensure that it’s much more than just a one-off event.

With proper planning and evaluation, time and money spent on one activity can offer learning opportunities and the chance to make improvements that will benefit you not just for that one-off event but on-going in your business.

Being REACTIVE and treating events as RAMPS is easy but gets you nowhere fast.

Being PROACTIVE and treating events as LADDERS means that with each injection of energy and money your business takes a step forward.

Which approach do you take?




{ 1 comment }

Kevin Leighton March 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I’m currently designing some promotional material for specific events and this information is really useful in helping to target the specific audiences I’ll encounter.

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