The Importance of Effective Trade Show Staffing

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Trade shows might be the most important part of your business. These events are where you meet new clients, reconnect with old clients, showcase your products and get people on board to do business with your company. Focusing on displays, signage, booth design, and marketing material is definitely an important aspect when it comes to excelling at your trade show, but what most people don’t think of is staffing. Having effective personnel in your booth can, and often does, trump all other elements of your trade show booth.

The Importance of Effective Trade Show Staffing:

Hiring the right people for your trade show can truly make or break the success of your show. Picture any fair or event that you’ve been to in the past. What made the booths you remember stand out so vividly? Often times, you’ll realize the key wasn’t the impressive lighting and media used, but it was the people who were able to engage you and get you excited about their product. The booths where it looks like the staff aren’t interested in being there, or are too shy to approach customers definitely take a hit. Having effective trade show staff is the difference between a potential customer walking by, or stopping in. The training that professional brand ambassadors undergo gives them the ability to confidently engage clients and skillfully market the product without seeming too salesy.

Staffing Your Trade Show Booth – How to Be Effective?

Some ways in which you can effectively staff your trade show booth involve brand ambassadors. It is advised against using volunteers or personnel who are not properly trained in the area of your business that you are marketing. Brand ambassadors have extensive training on experiential marketing, are well-versed in trade show behaviours and engagement, know how to target the right people, and can effectively display your products, educate people, and answer questions.
Some things to keep in mind when hiring personnel for your trade show are:

  • Employ people who are lively, friendly, and fully engaged in your company’s products and services.
  • Brand ambassadors should be well-groomed, dressed to impressed, and professional.
  • Your personnel should be thoroughly trained on your booth’s products, the ethos of your business, and the main goal.
  • Be sure to hire the right amount of people for your booth – overstaffed booths are crowded and unnecessary while understaffed booths could result in chaos and lost clients.
  • Have a schedule of events, do a run-through of the day/weekend with your brand ambassadors so everyone is on the same page and has an idea of how the show is going to go, and list out any rules or etiquette you expect them to abide by.

Types of Trade Show Booth Staff:

Once you’ve established some roles and responsibilities that your hired personnel should abide by, you will achieve further success by giving everyone a specific job title. While this may seem arbitrary for a short trade show, it works wonders when it comes to organization and synergy amongst your booth staff. When people are aware of their own and each other’s defined roles, they not only respect them and the workings of the trade show better, but there is less confusion and overstepping of roles. Here are some types of trade show booth staffers:

  1. Hosts – hosts, as the job title suggests, are responsible for welcoming in and registering booth visitors. The stand closer to the front of the booth, and are responsible for getting people intrigued. They could direct people to product demonstrations, or be giving out freebies to walkers-by.
  2. Presenters – these people are usually skilled public speakers, those who are adept at engaging audiences and giving live presentations and demonstrations. They are entertainers and quick on their feet, and well-versed in the details of your marketing pitch.
  3. Crowd Gatherers – crowd gatherers are hosts who act outside of the booth. These people engage with attendees in the aisles or surrounding areas of your booth. They can help get people interested in your booth, ask questions, and direct them to your booth to learn more. They often walk with pamphlets or samples to get people interested.
  4. Lead Gathering and Sales Staff – these roles are people who are skilled sales professionals. They are experts in marketing and sales pitches, and know how to effectively sell your products to qualifying attendees.

How to Manage and Motivate Booth Staff:

It is your job to ensure your team is motivated and well-managed come trade show time. Some ways in which you can do this is by:

  • Aligning your own, your business and your team’s values together so that everyone is on the same page and has the same end goal front of mind
  • Maintain a high-energy environment that promotes team-oriented solutions
  • Offer initiatives for those who think outside of the box and encourage original ideas
  • Despite creating a team environment, recognize that each staff member is an individual with a diverse personality type. Learn how to blend their best parts together into one unit, and allow each person to bring their unique personality to the front line.
  • Hold team lunches and activities before the event so that the team can get to know each other and can establish a sense of bonding and camaraderie prior to the event

Having your trade show staffed with brand ambassadors can make all the difference in your success.  Effectively staffing your booth will help motivate your entire team and yourself, and will help you reach your business goals.

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