When preparing for a trade show, one of the key items on your to-do list should be to make certain your booth staff is trained correctly. While some companies have an experienced team that runs their trade show booth at every event, many assemble teams based on the products and services to be promoted, or the profile of the attendees that will be at the show. While an amazing booth created by a trade show booth design company will pull attendees in, converting them into clients is up to your sales staff. Here are some tips for hosting the ultimate staff training session.
Review Your Strategy, Goals and Products
The first step of training is to review your goals and objectives for the show. Trade show objectives not only influence the custom trade show exhibit’s architectural design, but serve as the cornerstone for the overall all marketing strategy. Share the details of the strategy with your booth staff to make sure all questions are answered. And, whether your objectives center around closing sales, reaching new customers, introducing new products, or all of the above, everyone will understand what their specific role is in meeting those stated goals.
The product portion of your training should begin with an overview of the products that will be highlighted at the show, with a clear explanation of why these solutions are of particular interest to targeted attendees. Typically, certain members of your booth staff will know these products well, while others will need a review of features and benefits. Not everyone can be an expert for each solution set, so if possible, identify staff members who can provide expertise should a prospect have in-depth questions.
For some trade show programs, the custom trade show exhibit design, brand and marketing messages will be similar across a number of shows. The amount of time devoted to training sessions will depend on whether the same staff members are working the exhibit for each show, or if you have new colleagues to educate.
Learn How to Work a Trade Show
The second part of a successful staff training session will focus on how to actually run a trade show booth. For seasoned trade show veterans, this step may be shorter or even skipped completely.
However, for new additions on your team, you may need to discuss how working a trade show booth differs from working sales in the field or over the phone. Be prepared to cover a number of techniques, both verbal and non-verbal, in order to feel confident your staff is performing their best.
Each member of your booth staff should take turns role-playing scenarios to demonstrate they fully understand booth etiquette as well as utilizing the best ways of promoting your products and services.
Create a Mock Booth and Learn the Show Floor
If possible, it also helps to have a mock booth for your team to practice in. This lets them get an idea of the space they will be working with, as well as familiarize themselves with the location of your various product displays and marketing materials.
If not possible prior to arriving at the show, schedule a booth meeting in advance of show open once the exhibit has been set-up. Cover all training materials prior to the trip, leaving the final walk-through for pre-show practice,
This is also a good time to familiarize your team with the layout of the exhibit hall, including the areas where attendees will enter and exit, as well as determine what the expected flow of traffic will be. Your team should know where the exhibitor services desk is located and who to contact should a problem arise during the show.
It is important to provide your team with the schedule of events, or let them know where they can find the schedule online if it has not yet been posted. Attendees often ask exhibitors if they know when demonstrations or presentations are starting, so equip your staff with that knowledge.
Preparing and distributing a booth manual prior to the show is an efficient means of consolidating information for each staff member. This document should include the following:
- Goals and objectives
- Items to remember to pack, such as business cards
- Hours of the show and the staff schedule, including meetings that have been scheduled for executives and sales
- Reminder of the profiles of targeted attendees
- Messages to cover during in-booth conversations
- Dress requirements for staff
- General show tips and tricks, and any other important tidbits to ensure a successful event
Need an Expert Trade Show Booth Design?
If your company does not have a trade show booth design prepared for your next event, Exhibitus can help. We have years of experience creating customized trade show booths for companies in a wide variety of industries. Contact us today to discuss your needs and learn how Exhibitus can assist you with your trade show program.