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Prepare Your Exhibit Staff – Tip #1: A Robust Booth Manual

A compelling, on-brand design of your trade show exhibit is the first step to successful engagement in a face-to-face marketing environment.  While an amazing exhibit will pull attendees in, converting them into clients is the job of your exhibit staff. Some companies have an experienced team that represents them at each event. However, most companies assemble a team based on the audience of the event, the goals for participation and the products to be promoted and demonstrated.

No matter the strategy, it is important that the staff has access to necessary information to stay on message as well as easily find logistics and travel arrangements.  A booth manual should contain answers to any questions they might need to navigate their time associated with the event and provide a blueprint for booth staff training.

Below you will find a template for the types of information Exhibitus’ marketing provides staff before ExhibitorLIVE each year. Feel free to use this format as a starting point to develop your own unique booth manual.

Flight and hotel confirmations  As a member of the team, it is not only important to know your flight information, but also the dates that you can expect to see your colleagues. By including a table of arrival and departure times, availability is confirmed. Also, since hotel information often is buried in an inbox of emails, it is good to include confirmation numbers to avoid issues at check-in.

Emphasis goals  Without measurable goals, it is impossible to determine the success of a marketing event. Each member of the team must clearly understand what the goals are and how they contribute to the company’s objectives for overall success.

Packing list Providing a checklist of what to pack will help each team member arrive at the event prepared to meet the crowd of attendees with enthusiasm.

Show information Ensure that your team members are where they need be on time, every time.

Client meetings  Encourage team members to set up meetings with targeted attendees before the trade show begins. By providing this information in the booth manual, all are aware of the timing of these critical meetings.

Additionally, this promotes executive participation when those members can view the list of pre-set meetings to make additional connections, whether impromptu or planned in advance..


Floor plan Location on the trade show floor is important. By providing this information, team members can guide clients and prospects to the booth, as well as understand where competitors and other booths of interest are located.

Target audience Information critical to the success of any trade show experience includes the profile of the target audience, an understanding by the staff of broader messages promoting the company leading up to the event and, most importantly, the show messages to use to engage attendees, guaranteeing that each member of the team stays on point regarding the value of the company’s solutions.

Show message Development of show messages often begins with a marketing campaign designed to intrigue targets over a period of time before trade show doors open.  By providing details of promotions that lead up to the show, staff better understands how to discuss the value of the company’s products to an audience that has been primed to hear the message.

Using Exhibitus’ 2021 ExhibitorLIVE exhibit as an example, below is additional information to include in a booth manual to ensure staff understands the thinking behind the development of the design, the engagement experience as attendees enter the booth and the details of the overall experience the theme and design are meant to create.


Other important information to include in a manual is:

  • Instructions on the lead collection process so critical information is capture for follow-up once the show has ended
  • Explanations of premiums, show raffles or future giveaways based on an attendee completing a specific call-to-action
  • Information to be shared with attendees about charitable giving activities connected with your exhibit
  • Descriptions of award programs that recognize excellence in exhibit design or show participation
  • Suggestions as to ways to disengage with attendees that are not part of your target audience and/or take attention away from valuable prospects

Training exhibit staff requires a well-designed communication plan that starts with information at their fingertips. To learn more about preparing a booth manual and staff training to ensure measurable results, contact Exhibitus.