Exhibit Staffing for Trade Shows - Top 10 Best Practices

  1. How many people should I staff in the exhibit? The technical answer two per  100 sq. foot is a good rule of thumb. However, if it is a long show you will need a third to provide breaks and lunches.
  2. How long should I staff for? The very best exhibit staff should work no longer than four hours without a break. Some experts have said as few as two hours for the freshest staffers.
  3. What should I wear? Comfortable shoes and clothes is for sure, however there is move to themed and coordinated branded apparel. However, you should dress the way you would on first business meeting in a real business setting. This is your first impression.
  4. Who should attend? The best pitch people you have with the most knowledge.  Do not send anyone who does not want to attend, and do not send anyone who wants the trip experience but not the work experience.  Having Engineers and executives in the booth helps the attendee to meet the thought leaders behind the brand and the innovation behind the product.
  5. It is all about the approach and the engagement? Rather than saying hello or how are you? Use conversation starters like what brings you to the show? Have you heard of us? Or do you current use our products?
  6. Converting an encounter to a customer. You convert an attendee to a customer by entertaining them with your personality, and the ability to answer their questions and the swift service you provide them. You have won the conversion when they agree to provide their email information or allow you to scan their badge; this is permission based marketing.
  7. Cell Phones in the Booth? The worst thing you can have your staff do is talk, text, or e-mail on their phones during show hours. It would be better to walk away from the booth. The exhibit portrays a better image than your staff on the phone.
  8. Eating in the Booth? Just don’t do it, it is not a good image and the last thing you want as a Brand Manager is to have your staff chewing a sandwich as your first impression.
  9. Demonstration vs. Presentation:  In today’s world, the research has shown that attendees want a demonstration that entertains and presents what’s new. No stale PowerPoints, just engaging demonstrations!
  10. Giveaways, Prizes, and Premiums:  Whatever you decide to do here is better than nothing. However, a creative, well planned trade show promotion should support your brand and the theme of the exhibit; otherwise, it distracts from your message.