Although I’ve written numerous posts about the enormous benefit of hiring professional staffers when exhibiting at a trade show, I understand that some companies will always insist on only bringing their internal team to the event. While in-house trade show staffing can definitely produce effective and positive results, it’s imperative to set aside extra time to properly train your employees. Here are just a few things to keep in mind to ensure a successful event.
It’s all about attitude.
Remember that the most vital aspect to effective in-house trade show staffing is picking team members that have the right attitude. Your team must be friendly, charismatic, outgoing, and passionate about being there. It’s true that part of what generates leads at trade shows are strong products and intriguing services, but is anyone going to come into your booth to see those products and services if they’re met by someone who has their face buried in the phone or by someone who is zoning out with their arms crossed over their chest? Your in-house trade show staffing team must take it upon themselves to cultivate an environment of positivity and encouraging engagement. If the people staffing your booth are boring, nervous, or forgettable, those traits will be reflected in your brand as well.
Have you scripted your success or your failure?
Having the right attitude is great…as long as your in-house trade show staffing team has the right thing to say along with it! Make sure to develop a basic script for every member of the team. Everyone in your booth should have a specific responsibility, and along with that must come a specific set of questions or knowledge to share with others.
Some businesses that bring their own employees tend to over-script their events, simply because they know that their booth workers aren’t experienced when it comes to working with crowds of people. Unfortunately, customers can often tell when inexperienced presenters are reading from a script, and a disingenuous collection of booth staff simply won’t be as successful when it comes to generating leads. Trust your in-house trade show staffing team to speak naturally and fluidly—encourage them to roll with the punches!
On the other hand, beware under-scripting your team. It can be incredibly tempting when working with in-house employees to assume that since they know so much about the company’s products or services that they will intuitively know what they’re supposed to do on a trade show floor. Improvisation is harder than it looks! Your booth staff will have to engage with multiple leads at once and to win over leads. But while part of hiring a strong trade show staffing team is finding people are quick on their feet and can adapt their sales approaches to each individual customer, the script shouldn’t be forgotten.
In the end…think it through.
Ultimately, your event can be wildly successful by utilizing in-house trade show staffing, but you must remember to train your entire team. Discuss the expectations for events, about the brand message you are hoping to send, and about the basic script that should be followed in and around the booth. You’ll be glad that you did, and you’ll be rewarded for your vigilance with leads galore!