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Booth Staff Make Or Break Your Trade Show Sucess

Your Booth Staff Can Make Or Break an Event

The success of an exhibition or show depends on various factors such as visitors turnout, your booth location, your decoration, the types of visitors and so on. Obviously some of these factors are beyond your controls, however you can do the one most important thing to ensure the success of your booth: select the right people to staff it.

Train Your Sales Team

For optimum performance, you always need to prepare your booth team earlier prior to the event. The amount of time spent in preparation varies depending on the frequency of events, number of people in your team and the experience of the people in your team. Early preparation is essential, but do not do it too early. If you trained and briefed your team too early on, they might get de-motivated and lose interests if the end of training and the start of the event is still a few weeks or months away. Doing the right thing at the right timing will ensure great success, managers or organizers will learn this with experience too!

How many booth staffers do I need?

Besides the timing, you have to decide how many people do you need to staff the booth. Certain things will give you a clue as to how many people you need such as the size of the exhibit, the duration of the show, the type of interactions required between your staff and visitors and the type of attractions planned at your booth.

Do a trial run for booth training

Have a mock exhibition, try to simulate amount of time that will be spent by a booth staff with a single visitor and consult more experienced trade show runner. Be sure that you have sufficient staffing to manage the booth at all times, and allocate break times every few hours for your staff for optimum performance from them. Have your staff take turns during breaks, so as not to leave you short-handed at any time.

Who are the best people to represent my company?

Let’s face it, not every employees in your company qualify to be the representative of your organization. You need employees who display a unique blend of skills in a trade show. Among the qualities which you should look at are dedication, independence, persuasion and marketing skills. The ideal staff of a booth should also be good with people, are able to speak confidently and at the same, are not too imposing on the visitors.

Have sales and service departments represented

Visitors have rights to evaluate, your staff should provide them with all essential information but they have to allow the visitors to decide on their own and the staff should respect their opinions. Have a good mix of staff with different skills, there should be 1 main booth supervisor, a few senior staffs, several salespersons and 1 or 2 technical representative. The technical representative has a very specific task, that is to provide technical assistance which ordinary staffs may not have knowledge of. The technical representative should not reveal too much though, trade show spies are real and present all the time.

Practice makes perfect

Preparation for a trade show definitely should include the essentials training for the staff. A rehearsal show and training will be most effective and the staff should be well-versed in product knowledge, marketing methods, follow up, lead generation and also handling unexpected questions or situations. Familiarise the members of your staff with the roles and duties expected from them and continuously remind them of the goals of participating in the trade show.

Who will oversee your booth staff?

Delegation is the key to success. Do not trouble yourself with all the minor details of trade show. Select 1 main supervisor to oversee the whole operation and to ensure the success of your booth. Delegate to him the task of establishing dress code of all booth staff, preparation of badges, brochures, pamphlets, business cards and perhaps some free gifts for trade show attendees. The better supervisor will also be able to plan a working schedule for the booth and ensure that booth installation and dismantling run smoothly and safely.

Provide additional workforce for booth installation and dismantling from the main company or organization, the booth staff are not supposed to be the labourers as well. The supervisor will of course have to be trained from the basics, but in the long run all the trainings are worth investing in as you will have someone in whom you can trust to manage your participation in future trade shows. Ultimately the success or failure of your participation in a trade show depends on your choice of booth staff.

Write a game plan for your team

Start to take control now, do not participate in a trade show just for the sake of participation. The smart organizations do not just let situations dictate the outcome of their participation, they want to achieve their goals and objectives in each and every trade show! How to achieve that? Select the right persons manning your booth, it’s that simple.

2 Comments

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Corporate Uniforms // Nov 1, 2009 at 4:44 am

    This is a fantastic article! Another article on here with a focus of drawing attention to your booth with “pretty people” focuses on the role of looking professional at the booth while missing many of the key points shown here. One thing worth nothing in addition to your very comprehensive article above is that the look and feel of your booth is very important which includes staff. Staff should be professionally presented in a uniform that fits in with the look of the booth itself (if you think you may have to get special uniforms for the even – do it!). This way people’s eye will be caught by an interesting booth with professional looking staff, and then their interest will be rewarded through the professionalism and knowledge of the staff in the areas you present below! Better than a promo model any day!

  • 2 Rigette Saycon // Oct 27, 2011 at 4:13 am

    Ever since I started my RTW business I have been participating on trade shows. Normally I get 2-3 of my trained staff to take over our both. Your booth staff can definitely make or break your trade show success, just make sure that your staff knows how to handle inquires well and most importantly they are well aware about the products you are selling.

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