Prepare and motivate your staff for the show

Exhibitions are attended by your customers wishing to meet people representing your company. They can then put a face to the brand. It is therefore essential that your exhibition staff are knowledgeable about your products and are approachable.

It always amazes me when I walk around an exhibition and a proportion of the staff on stands are either checking their mobile phones, sitting down, having a rest, or talking to colleagues. As a potential customer this would really put me off trying to engage with them, wouldn’t it you?

According to one report, 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority.  Which means more than four out of five people walking the aisles are potential customers for exhibitors. Therefore your staff must engage with them so that they may become a potential customer after the show.

Before the show

Of course you will have done a lot of prep work before the show to ensure your customers and potential customers will visit your stand. No doubt this will have included:

  • Emailing, calling and sending a newsletter to your database to invite them to the show. It helps if you can give an incentive to visit the show too. Have an aim to set up meetings with your potential customers

  • Adding to your blog that you are at the show

  • Communicating on all forms of social media, including your LinkedIn Company Page, that you will be at the show and why people should visit your stand

So now onto the staff, one of the most important parts of the day (along with an attention grabbing stand, of course).  Here are a few pointers to ensure you have the right staff on the day:

Who to take – who are your most client-facing members of staff and who is most personable and attentive to your customers’ needs? Are these individuals also enthusiastic about your brand and products?

Brief staff – You will want to communicate to your staff things like the company’s reason for exhibiting, any competitions or incentives you have, dress code for the days.

Goals – Communicate the goals for the exhibition and break them down into days /staff so that they are achievable. You could add incentives to ensure staff meet their goals.

Roles – Clearly define roles for the staff on the day (who is doing what and when) as this will help everything to run smoothly. It could be an idea to have a leader who takes control each day.

Organise rotas – but use down-time wisely (you’re still working after all.)

If you have the available staff, two hours on, and 30 minutes off is a good balance. Use the 30 minutes to tour the show – be the ‘time waster’, see how other stands operate. Make sure you also get some fresh air – it clears the mind and refreshes you.

Training – As the stand is an investment for the company, it may also be worth investing in training for your staff so that they excel at the show. A company we can recommend is ‘Facetime’, an exhibition staff training company.

The products – Ensure your staff are familiar with your products, how they work, why people need them etc.  They must be able to answer any question that may be asked on the day – even if they need to look on your website for the answer.

Capture customers details – How will you gather data – on ipads, laptops, or the trusted old-fashioned way of collecting business cards? Don’t forget to take these away with you at the end of the show.

Big NO NO’s

  • Don’t use your mobile

  • Don’t chat to other staff if there are customers to talk to

  • Don’t eat or drink on the stand

  • Don’t work on your laptop

Know your event:

  • Have a schedule to hand in case of questions

  • Know where the toilet is

  • Know where people can get refreshments from

I hope this has given you some pointers on how to use your staff effectively on the days of the show.

For more information on exhibiting, please look at our previous posts including ‘Exhibition Planning – 6 steps that can’t be missed’.

Got the staff but need the stand? Get in touch!

Holdsworth Designs are specialists in exhibition design, exhibition manufacture, exhibition installation and graphics printing. 

We have a highly experienced team who will help you through every step of your exhibition journey; please get in touch to discuss your requirements on 07834 525624 or