Attending a trade show is one of the best mediums to market your company and raise awareness for your brand, services and new product offerings. According to Bizzabo’s 2019 Event Marketing Report, 95% of respondents believe in-person events provide attendees with a valuable opportunity to form meaningful business connections. With this in mind, it is safe to say the success of your trade show program is directly correlated to the representatives you select for the in-booth staff of your .
Before attending any trade show, it is essential that your booth staff is readily equipped to handle any interaction as well as answer any question posed by booth visitors. To help you get ready for upcoming trade shows, here are some essential tips to prepare your booth staff for success.
Schedule Pre-Show Trainings
With 85% of your trade show success based on the performance of your booth staff, it is amazing that only 26% of exhibitors conduct pre-show training (ExhibitorOnline, 2017). To stay one step ahead of your competition, help prepare your team properly in pre-show trainings by following a “S.M.A.R.T.” protocol:
Strategize – If not staffed correctly or strategically, you risk your exhibit team negatively impacting your trade show ROI. Don’t assume that just because individuals are credible and knowledgeable that they will know what to do or say once they are on the trade show floor. Be strategic when selecting who you want representing your company, as not all booth staff is created equal. It is important that the team you’ve engineered is not only diverse in personality, but is also aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. In addition, it is important to provide your staff with the proper tools that fit your strategy for meeting show objectives. Your staffers need to fully understand their role to ensure the best execution at the show.
Manage – An important aspect of booth training is making sure the roles, responsibilities and positions assigned are addressed, acknowledged and managed accordingly. Each booth staffer should be able to manage visitors by using standard procedures for capturing and qualifying lead information, introducing each to an appropriate coworker for a seamless hand-off, or pitching a presentation at any given moment. More importantly, they should be able to listen with intent, as most attendees will tell you what they are looking for. With this knowledge, it is easier to manage a converstation and direct it towards the value your products or services would bring to a potential relationship.
Articulate – At every pre-show training, it is important to articulate to your booth staff the do’s and don’ts of face-to-face interactions. Reiterate to them the sales techniques they use on the trade show floor are very different from how they approach a prospective customer over the phone. Express to them the importance of maintaining an approachable appearance and make sure they are aware of the role body language plays in building positive interactions. For example, wrinkled and untucked shirts, coupled with crossed arms and backs turned away from the exhibit aisles, sends a message to attendees to keep walking and to not engage with you. Instead, clearly state to your booth staff that they need to be energized, welcoming and warm from the moment they step foot onto the trade show floor until the trade show concludes.
Review – Pre-show booth training is a great segue to remembering why your company is exhibiting at the show. Review the company’s marketing strategy and desired goals. During this pre-show training, go over key messages you want booth staffers to cover reviewing benefits and features of recent product releases. Describe the general layout of the exhibit, highlighting the location of product demo stations and interactive engagements. Providing tips on how to approach, qualify and disengage visitors appropriately is key to a properly-functioning environment. And don’t forget to give the location of important services in the exhibit hall, such as restrooms and restaurants, in relation to your space on the trade show floor.
Target – Another element to preparing your booth staff for success is giving them a target to meet during the show. These goals should be based on show objectives and easily tracked and confirmed. Having a clear target, whether simply the number of visitors engaged during the show or the number of qualified leads collected, adds focus and, hopefully, invokes friendly competition for excellent performance from staff members while also increasing overall success.
Booth Behavior & Attitudes
To ensure your booth staff is prepared for success, make sure you address the importance of your exhibit staff’s in-booth attitude and behavior. The people you select to represent your brand should be individuals you believe want to be there. This is important to note because behaviors and attitudes will ultimately set the tone for your trade show exhibit. The combination of industry experience, brand knowledge and a great attitude says your staff is ready to to interact and connect with booth visitors.
By preparing your booth staff for success, you give individuals the tools they need to be effective on the trade show floor. Uncommitted, involuntary personalities will set a negative tone and energy internally within your company’s trade show environment. To avoid this social disaster, make sure you contact Exhibitus today to learn more about how we can help prepare your booth staff for success.