Without the right trade show booth staff, the impact of your exhibiting efforts will be compromised. All too often, companies put far too much emphasis on snazzy displays and eye-catching gimmicks.
While it's important to have a trade show booth that draws people in, it's critical to have employees who are motivated, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and well-trained. Otherwise, you can't hope to achieve your goals. A human touch is critical, and the right human touch is imperative. Following are key ways to manage and motivate your trade show staff for superior results.
Stick with Experienced Employees
According to trade show expert Datch Haven of Epic Displays (www.epicdisplays.com), don't make the mistake of putting inexperienced employees in your trade show booth. While it's true that most people dread being asked to work a trade show, you shouldn't give the task to employees who are sorely lacking in the experience department.
In many ways, this is your company's one chance to make a great impression on people. All of the enthusiasm in the world can't make up for a lack of knowledge and experience. While considering employees to send to a trade show, zero in on people who have ample amounts of experience.
Choose People who Actually Want to Attend
Resentful employees aren't going to come across very well at a trade show. Of course, you may not have many options or flexibility in this department. However, if you know of employees who genuinely enjoy these types of events, they should be at the top of your list.
Of course, they also need to have the right experience and knowledge as well. People who truly want to be there will come across as happy, enthusiastic and pleasant, and those traits will go a long way toward producing great results for your company.
Provide Incentives that Make People More Willing to Attend
If you don't have any overtly enthusiastic employees at your disposal, try to make it worth their while in some way. By offering incentives to trade show booth staff, you can transform employees who are less than keen on the idea into people who are highly motivated to do their very best.
The incentives that you use will depend
on the nature of your business and on the expectations of your employees. They
can range from gift certificates to letters of recommendation. Expecting your
employees to attend a trade show because it is their job just isn't going to
Have the Right People Present
It's critical to have the right people in your booth at a trade show. For example, if the media may be present, make sure to have an employee who is experienced in dealing with the media. If you will be presenting technical products, have a member of your technical staff present.
You can't expect a
couple of sales reps to be able to wear many different hats. They're only going
to have three minutes or less to engage attendees in the right way, so it's
crucial to have the right people available.
Establish Goals and Make Your Trade Show Staff Aware of Them
Don't send your employees to a trade show without a clear set of goals. They are sure to flounder around without any real purpose. If you are trying to launch a new product, make it clear that they should focus on doing that. If you are attempting to increase market share, make that fact known to the people who will be representing you.
It will give them a clear idea about how to
interact with the people who visit the booth,
and it will make it easier to gauge your overall success later.
Arm Trade Show Booth Staff with Plenty of Information
Your trade show staff should have plenty of information to use before, during and after the event.
Prepare an informational packet and get it into these employees' hands at least a week or two before the event. It should include everything from the location of the booth to information about local restaurants.
Your sales staff should look over lists of people who will be
attending and highlight the most important names. Instruct your trade show
employees on how to proceed with each person. For example, encourage them to
invite certain people to dinner or to attend specific presentations.
Training is Key for Your Trade Show Booth Staff
Whether you're dealing with sales staff or technical staff, it is crucial to provide training before the day of the trade show rolls around. This training is just as necessary for seasoned trade show booth staff as it is for people who are doing this for the first time. After all, each trade show experience is different. Different goals are in place from one trade show to the next.
Here are the training areas for your trade show booth staff:
If you will need members of your technical staff to attend as well, keep in
mind that they will be out of their element. Special training will be required.
Have an experienced trade show employee teach these individuals the ropes, and
make sure not to charge these employees with tasks that they aren't capable of
Looking the Part
Finally, it's crucial to ensure that your trade show booth staff will dress appropriately for the event. Emphasize the importance of looking professional at all times. This applies to what a person wears, and it applies to a person's demeanor as well.
When the trade show is complete, survey the staff to see how it went. Use reports to determine the overall success of the endeavor. If mistakes were made, analyze them and use that information to avoid repeating them in the future.
Above everything else, don't underestimate the importance of your trade show staff. By devoting plenty of time to managing and motivating them, your odds of success will be much higher.
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