Applications Engineers (AEs) are key to successful product evaluations and benchmarks, which involve many inter-related technical, commercial and human factors. This paper will help AEs with these challenges. Looking beyond the technical aspect, an evaluation or benchmark is a process that includes risk/benefits analysis, expectations management and tight, collaborative planning. This paper reviews these aspects, advocates certain "best practices" and shortlists common dangers. It makes sense for AEs to exchange experiences in this domain, and for AE teams to capture best practice in ways that make it easy to apply.