Trade shows are still an incredible way to promote one’s business or company and even though there are those ‘experts’ who will tell you that trade shows belong in history, they are still great opportunities to make new contacts, new customers, to learn new things about your industry and to connect with those from that same industry.
And while it is definitely important to have a great exhibition booth that will attract the visitors and enhance their experience at your display, it is equally as important, if not even more important, to have a carefully assembled and perfectly trained trade show team that will work the booth and be your face for the visitors and potential customers.
Step #1 – Assembling the team
Depending on the size of your business/company and your idea on what your exhibition is going to look like, there are a few ways you can go. You can choose people who already work for you and who know the company from the inside. You can also hire outside people who have experience with trade shows and who know how they work. The third option is to have a team that is a combination of these, which will have all the strengths of both of these groups.
In any case, it would be a good idea to have a few distinct types of people manning your trade show booth. You need to have someone who is tech-savvy and who will be able to add to your exhibition with social media and who will know how to operate all and any high-tech gadgets that you might use at your booth. You will also need to have someone with insane people skills who will be responsible for dealing with the most difficult of visitors (there will be those). It would also be a good idea to have an organizer, a leader among your team, a person who will be able to take over when you are not around.
Step #2 – Letting them know what their job is
This is where you will need to be the boss and let everyone know what their duties are, what is expected of them, what is not tolerated what is encouraged and so on. Of course, it helps if you have a clear vision of what you want your exhibition to achieve and what experience you want to provide for the trade show visitors who come to check out your booth. It is crucial to answer ALL questions that your team may have for you. Encourage them to ask you anything, no matter how stupid they think it is. Be patient but also be firm.
Step #3 – Stay on top of things
Once the trade show begins, there will be problems. A member of your team may come late; or they might not have the answer to the visitors’ inquiries. A part of your display might break or fall down. Your team will have even more questions than before. These are all reasons why you need to stay on top of things, even though you might (more precisely will) have other things to tend to and other avenues of opportunity to explore. You are still the head of the team and everyone needs to be aware of this fact, both your team and you yourself.
In the end, provided you have played your cards right and you have done everything properly; your team will become the biggest asset in your trade show experience. They will be the ones attracting visitors and turning mere visitors into new customers or partners.
Author: James Burbank has years of experience in traditional marketing and trade show industry. He is currently on hiatus during which he’s been blogging about his experiences and findings. He often consults NVP, exhibition displays firm from Sydney for additional insight in the industry. You can find James on Twitter.
To Your Success!