Putting your Best Face Forward: How to Staff your Trade Show Booth
You can spend lots of money creating an eye-grabbing, elaborate trade show exhibit, but lose potential customers if your booth personnel are not well trained and prepared. Make it an essential part of your pre-show strategy, right along with pre-event marketing and demo preparations. Keep in mind that these people will leave a lasting impression, good or bad, on your attendees and potential customers when they leave your booth so pick the best and brightest to represent your organization.
Here are a few more tips on how you can ensure that everyone in your trade show staff is show-ready:
Make sure they are well versed. This is particularly important when using temp workers. These people need to know detailed background about your company, its mission, goal, target audience, products or services, as well as your sales and marketing message.
Practice makes perfect. Establish a pre-show training session and conduct them before every show. Prepare a list of objectives and make sure everyone is aware of their role. For example, some people might be assigned official greeters, while others might be reserved for fielding more detailed technical questions.
Choose friendly folk. This might seem obvious, but the more outgoing and friendly a person is, the better they will be at engaging prospects.
Stick to the script. Training booth personnel should include a well-practiced script that includes a quick introduction of themselves, a one-minute overview of your company and its products; a few questions to qualify the attendee as a potential prospect; and a request for contact info for effective follow-up after the event.
Dress the part. Make sure that booth staff understands what is expected of them in terms of how to dress, proper etiquette (no gum chewing, eating, etc.), the importance of arriving early and being prepared, and how long they are expected to be on duty.
Don’t overstaff. It’s human nature to avoid excessively crowded spaces and nothing is more intimidating then walking in a booth and being besieged by a throng of over-eager sales people. Proper staffing will depend upon the size of the actual booth.
Put sales staff on the front line. Even if you rely on temporary help at trade shows, it’s vital to have salespeople in the mix and preferably taking the lead in greeting visitors and doing demos.
Listen more, talk less. Companies can learn more about potential customers and how they might be able to help them by taking the time to listen to their needs, pain points, issues, etc. Booth staff should adhere to the 80/20 principle; listen 80% and talk only 20%.