Everyone has a cause, and mine is trade show audits.  What is a trade show audit?  It’s simply a certified document verifying trade show attendee numbers.  They are done by a certified source independent of show management.  Audits also break out the number of attendees from the media, conference speakers, and registered exhibitors and geographical distribution of the audience. Many include attendee job titles.  It sounds pretty simple, right?  After all, it’s been a defacto standard in the publication world for decades, so why isn’t it happening in the trade show industry? 

If you remember only one fact, please make it this one:  Of approximately 13,000 U.S. shows, only about 39 are audited.  Why is that? Show management says that it’s because trade show exhibitors are not asking for audits.  Please ask. And thank those show managers who provide audits.  Just make sure that what they are calling an “audit” is truly a certified, independent audit.  It’s gotten easier to recognize an audit.  If it has the EEIAC “check mark,” then you have the real thing.

What is the EEIAC? 

It’s the Exhibition & Event Industry Audit Council (EEIAC) and I’m honored to serve on the board. The EEIAC isn’t trying to sell you anything.

They are the real deal.  The EEIAC is an independent organization composed of exhibitor AND event organizer personnel who are charged with monitoring a consistent set of event audit standards which independent auditors must follow in order to have their audits certified.

There is tons of information on their web site, so check it out. For other resources try,, and   And the Trade Show Exhibitor’s Association (TSEA) has a comprehensive “audit kit” that is informative and helpful.

Free White Paper

Click here for my free white paper published by the IAEE.  I hope it helps. Please contact me if you want more information about audits, have any questions about audits, or want to help spread the word about audits. Click here to download a Sample Audit (pdf).

Related Articles

Audits and Surveys: What You Don’t Know Could Cost You, "Exhibitor" magazine, January, 2009. Explore the relatively new world of accountability and validation, and discover four measurement applications to help you plan and improve your exhibit marketing program.

"Trade Show Audits – Time for the Real Pain" from Knight Errant, Exhibitor magazine, April 2008

"AIF, The Need to Know Number" from Knight Errant, ExhibitorOnline

"Why Audit? Why Not?" from Expo magazine Nov/Dec 2007