TRADE SHOW STAFFING & TRAINING IS A MUST
If you are a large corporation, you most likely have plentiful personnel resources from which to choose to staff your trade show booth. If you are a smaller company, resources may be limited. You may only be able to bring two or three people with you as you have to leave someone behind to tend the shop, so to speak. Either way, your staff needs to know this is not a vacation; working a trade show is hard work when it is done correctly. Be careful to pull in a good mix of booth staffers who not only have good knowledge of the company, its products and processes, but folks with good hygiene, good manners and an ability to focus on the task at hand amidst a highly distracting environment.
Booth staffers need to be aware of the company’s goals and objectives for the show, need to be trained (ideally prior to the show) on your lead qualification criteria and collection methods, and need to have an understanding of what follow-up will look like after the show in order to ensure they are asking the right questions and gathering the right info during the show. They should be aware of any and all show promotions and specials and should know whom to contact in the event of a show issue or customer question. A good staff training reference article for basics and attendee engagement can be found here.
If your company can not accommodate formal, on-site in person staff training, at bare minimum set some expectation guidelines and be sure that goals, objectives and procedures have been communicated. Take advantage of email, conference calls, SkypeTM, webinars and other long distance team communication technologies and opportunities.
Trade shows are a big investment and the show booth space and display are only part of the equation. In the long run, people come to see people. Investing in staff training and communication will reap dividends.
Check our Trade Show Season Smarts series next week for ideas about pre-trade show promotion