Planning a trade show exhibit is a long, complex process. It is not uncommon to start putting together materials, brainstorming displays and conducting pre-show advertising months in advance of an event. This gives you plenty of time to choose and train those people who will be staffing your exhibit.
The choice of who will be staffing a conference is one of the most important factors influencing your success. Trade Show News Network reported that there are dozens of potential bad staffers, ranging from people who fail to show up to those who don't properly qualify leads. Each of these types of bad staffers can reduce your ability to generate a strong return from a trade show.
How you choose your staffers can help minimize the chances of having the wrong staff on hand. The key is to find workers who enjoy the experience of attending trade conferences and want to participate, according to Trade Show Institute. If someone expresses frustration with having to travel or spend time manning your booth, feel free to cut him or her from your list of workers. The last person you want talking to potential customers is someone with a bad attitude.
Tip: Avoid staffers who don't want to be at the trade show
To avoid ending up with unenthusiastic workers, you could make trade show attendance a reward for certain employees. For instance, those who have performed well during the month leading up to the trade show can be recognized for their efforts by being allowed to represent your firm at the event. This is particularly effective for people working in other departments. Giving employees the chance to experience something new can increase their engagement and enthusiasm.
Tip: Provide employees with a chance to try something new
At times, companies can become too locked into who is required to man their booths. Sales and marketing professionals are typical targets, but Trade Show Institute reported that employees from other departments can also provide excellent service. Customer service representatives make great booth staffers, as they are knowledgeable about the products and enjoy speaking with potential clients. The change of scenery can also help rejuvenate them for when they get back to the office. Moreover, product developers are great people to have on hand when showcasing a new product design, as these parties are often very interested in what others have to say and can collect valuable insight that could further improve prototypes.
Finding people who want to attend conferences will provide energy for your booth that can aid in lead capture. Engaging conversations from motivated staff make it easier to find highly qualified leads, so be sure to have a system in place to follow up on clients' interest.