Trade Show & Event Marketing Manager: A Day in the Life

Have you ever wondered what a typical day is like for a Trade Show or Event Marketing Manager? Is your daily experience similar to your peers or are you experiencing something atypical? Everyone has those days when you feel alone in the world, like you are the only one have crazy work hours, pressures, or juggle multiple project plans and deadlines. Based on a recent survey that Exhibit Concepts, Inc. conducted among trade show and event professionals, it’s clear the role is very dynamic with every day bringing new demands and new challenges requiring a diverse set of skills.

Respondents in the survey reported that no two days were exactly the same. The majority of their time is spent planning events and sitting in meetings. The role requires a wide variety of skills with the top three most required being:

  • Detail orientation
  • Managing multiple projects and tasks simultaneously
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

However, planning and executing trade shows and events is rarely a solo act. Respondents reported they are part of a decision-making committee between 53% – 60% of the time, depending on the type of event.  Likewise, they use a wide variety of information sources to stay current and learn about new information for their jobs including industry trade publications, internet searches, and their colleagues.

Despite the diversity of each organization represented in the survey and the ever changing aspects of the role, respondents did have similar responses when asked about processes and parts of their job that could be more efficient.  Issues related to brand management – including managing multiple brands at a single event while expressing a cohesive message – was the most common improvement area raised. Another top opportunity for improvement was around communication – between senior leaders and the event team, between divisions, between sales and marketing and between the event team and other marketers.

Despite all the demands, deadlines and managing multiple priorities simultaneously, respondents indicated a high level of satisfaction in their role. 56% percent of respondents expected to be at their same company in 5 years either in the same role or a more senior role with similar responsibilities. Another seven percent expected to be at the same company but in a completely different role.

Regardless of where you stand in the trade show and event marketing manager equation, one thing is clear: you are not alone.

Want tips on how to plan and execute a successful trade show? Download our 10 steps white paper HERE.


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