What can a twenty-something do at a trade show that those older cannot?
Hint: It doesn’t end with being capable of partying ‘til 4:00 am and being on the show floor at 9:00 that morning.
If your company exhibits at trade shows and you have twenty-somethings on staff, assign them booth duty at your trade shows. They can be your secret weapon.
What can they do that their elders cannot? Here’s a short list:
- As mentioned above, they have staying power. They have enough energy to work the booth from 9 to 5 and party ‘til the wee hours…and do it all over again the next day.
- They know how to utilize the latest social technology. They can out-Twitter the rest of us with one hand tied behind their back.
- Non-competing exhibitors can be a fertile source of industry contacts and sales leads. The older staffers at these booths generally welcome the opportunity to mentor young folks on the way up.
- Let’s face it, as you get older, you can only do so many shows each year before the prospect of yet another no longer gives you a thrill. When you are in your 20s, what’s not to like: new people to meet, new products to see and parties, lots of parties.
- When you are young, customers will often forgive your mistakes.
As a young man, I was fortunate to be befriended by others selling to the same industry. Some of the biggest, most long-lasting customer relationships I formed came as a result of being introduced by another exhibitor. Another advantage of being a young salesperson: No one expects you to be infallible. Customers and prospects don’t expect you to know it all (But if you do, they are overwhelmed).
If you manage your organization’s trade show exhibit and you are fortunate enough to have a cadre of bright, personable 20 to 30 year olds, let ‘em loose on the show floor. You – and they- will benefit.