Staffing Your Trade Show Booth

Without the appropriate staff, your expensive trade show display could be wasted.  When the line of communication between your customers and your business is not strong, there are many lost prospects.  Usually, sales people are ideal for staffing trade show booths because they are aware of how to deal with customers and know the details of your products or services.  There are many things to remember when choosing staff members for a trade show or marketing event. 

Selecting staff members who will give their best effort is one of the most challenging aspects of staffing exhibits.  You should select candidates based on whether or not they would show enthusiasm for running your trade show display.  Employees who want to be at the show will be far more effective than employees who are forced to attend.  When people do not want to be involved, their negative attitude and body language rubs off on visitors, causing them to walk right past your exhibit.  Choose staff members who are courteous, professional, and personable.  These traits will reflect on your business and make an impression on each person who visits your booth.

Another important aspect of selecting staff is deciding how many employees are needed to successfully staff the booth throughout the event.  This can be determined by examining the attendance projections and historical attendance levels of the show you will be attending.  You will be lucky if twenty percent of the attendees actually stop at your booth.  Then, you can decide how many customers can be taken care of by each of your staff members per hour, depending on their individual skill levels.  Assume there is a show with an attendance of 5,000 people.  1,000 people will stop at your booth, each staff member can handle 20 customers per hour, and the event lasts six hours.  You will need about eight people to staff your exhibit.  However, staff members can only work about three hour shifts without losing the ability to communicate effectively, so you may need to hire sixteen people to work the exhibit throughout the day.  Be careful not to overstaff your display, because it may make visitors feel cramped, overwhelmed, and anxious.

Motivating staff members is difficult in high stress, chaotic sales environments like trade shows.  The best way to get results is to offer genuine support, appreciation, and encouragement for their success.  Popular methods of motivating employees are promoting contests for the number of leads collected and offering incentives for superior performance.  Letting staff members see that executive level management wants to be involved and wants to care about the outcome of that specific event is a great way to strengthen motivation.  Give recognition to employees when they perform well at the event.  Let them describe their individual accomplishments at post-show meetings, while also reinforcing teamwork and creating a fun, productive atmosphere.  Most people are highly motivated by personal recognition, but also appreciate the enthusiasm provided by the team they work with.

Training is something that cannot be left out of the staffing process.  Let your staff know what you expect from them and specifically describe to them how they can acheive those goals.  Establish a consistent message with all staff members and review the appropriate verbal pitches that will be repeated hundreds of times.  Coach staff members on greeting guests, acquiring lead information, determining the quality of those leads, and following up after the event. 

Read more about our Trade Show Staffing service and contact us today for more information.