5 Steps Businesses Can Take To Improve Profitability On Their Exhibition Or Training Events

Before I begin here are some questions…


  • Do you have a process to monitor performance?
  • Do you regularly set objectives for your events?
  • Do you know the profitability of each event?
  • Do you review performance, against your original targets?
  • Do you clearly have a vision for your events and how to measure success?

If the answer to the above is no, don’t worry you are not alone!

I regularly speak to businesses that find the ongoing measurement of training and events stressful and time-consuming — as a result, they are losing potential profits that could be easily avoided. The good news? We are here to help! Wilkinson Accounting Solutions have worked with numerous businesses who have successfully improved profits by over 50% by implementing the following activities when planning their events.

1.Identify the Purpose

Identify the purpose of the event and document what you want to achieve for example increasing knowledge base, generate income, advertise your business etc.

2. Set measurable objectives aligned to your goals

These should be a mix of financial and non-financial, and could include things such as:

  • Income per customer
  • Cost to income ratio
  • Number of returning attendees
  • Total registrations vs attendees
  • Learning outcomes – % pass rates

3. Develop a new budget for each event

Using output from prior events can be helpful to understand ‘what worked well’ and ‘what can be improved’ i.e. reduce the number of discounts offered or improve the output of the event. However, it is best practice to develop a new budget for every event from scratch.

This is to ensure any potential additional costs are considered, such as increases in event hire costs. Not only will this measure profitability but can also be used to ensure costs are continuously monitored i.e. re-negotiate costs with suppliers, yearly insurance renewals etc.

4. Align costs

Align costs to the relevant event to ensure accurate profitability is measured. For example, if you promote your event in a magazine, where do you allocate the spending? And if you sell products at your event, are the costs of the products aligned accurately to the cash taken on the day? This is also important to help monitor cash flow as, going back to the product example, you will already have paid for the goods sold prior to the event, whereas cash will not be received until on the day.

5. Implement a process

Implement a process that enables you to measure performance of past events against the objectives set in stage 2. This will require a structured and timely process of gathering data and managing your bookkeeping.


This process can sound daunting but does not need to be! Contact Wilkinson Accounting Solutions to find out more about our 1-2-1 consultations dedicated for Event and Training Providers at accounts@wilkinsonaccountingsolutions.co.uk

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