I had a good friend and colleague ask me my opinion the other day about attending a women’s expo sell a cookbook she recently published for sale. She started to the conversation by first telling me she needed some business advice, then proceeded to ask me if I have ever been to an Ultimate Women’s Expo. I have, I’ve been to one. And I told her so. I told her all the things they had readily available for the attendees including a panel of women experts to talk about health, workshops that spoke of expanding your income and giveaways throughout the event. Then she asked me should she be an exhibitor at one.
My answer to her was “Do it if you can measure it.”
She went on to tell me all the things she’d want use the venue for — sell her cookbook, have little recipe cards ready to hand out, have her promotional t-shirts for sale, possibly do a giveaway and interact with other women there. She continued by telling me all the things they had to offer for exhibitors at this two-day event. I could tell she was excited about it because she told me it was “the perfect venue to sell, market and promote [my] recipes to active and enthusiastic women, all searching for great fashion, beauty, health, nutrition, fitness, financial planning, careers, home decor, direct sales opportunities and more!”
I said it again, “Do it if you can measure it.”
I don’t think she entirely understood what I meant when I told her that. She replied asking if I could look into it for her and see if it’s something she should do. I told I could (and I will) and let her know my thoughts once I delve into it. But what I meant by “do it if you can measure it” is that I didn’t want her to walk blindly into something without having a measurable goal in mind. If she wants to sell her books at the expo, then she would need look at the number of past attendees, see how many other vendors attended last year, how many of them sold their products, which vendors were similar to hers and figure out from those number how many she could aim to sell. Yeah, it seems like a lot of work (the right way always is), but it’s better than losing out on a whole lot of money needlessly.
The same would apply to interactions and networking, since that was a goal of hers too. I do this all the time. Whenever I drag myself out to a networking event, my goal is to meet and keep in touch with 5 new people. I don’t ever change that number, actually. 5 is a simple number to keep up with. I can email 5 new people when I return home from the event, I can call 5 new people to schedule a meeting with, and I can share useful information with 5 new people. And from those 5 new people, I can measure my success in building a relationships. Even if only 2 or 3 people keep in touch with me afterwards, that’s a 40-60% of new people addition to my network. Not bad.
Do it if you can measure it.