In a perfect world, all tradeshow managers would have these skills – and more. But we know that a perfect world doesn’t exist, right? So if you have most of these you’ll probably do okay!
- People (read: sales) skills. There’s a lot to be said for having the power to get along with people and being able to kindly persuade people to do things for you. In a chaotic tradeshow world, the one leadership skill that stands out above all others is the ability to ‘get along with others.’ Just like in kindergarten.
- Social media skills. If you’re still wondering how to tweet or post to Facebook, you’re probably not right for the job. Beyond simple social media skills, are you able to shoot a Flip video and upload it within a few moments? Can you grab a photo of a client with your product and get it out on Facebook before they get on Facebook on their iPhone? Can you figure out how to promote special deals via Twitter, FB and YouTube before you head for the show? Do you know how to listen to the chatter on social media about your product, company and industry?
- Number-crunching ability. Budgeting in today’s economy is more important than ever. Being able to determine a show’s budget based on last year’s numbers (or no comparable numbers at all), getting a realistic look at the show’s ROI and putting together a final show budgetary report and analysis for the CFO will go a long way to keeping you in your position.
- Organization. There are so many moving parts in a tradeshow manager’s job that your organizational skills have to be top notch. Showing good time management skills, for instance, is a big plus.
- Understanding your product and market. A familiarity with your company’s culture, products, competitors, clients and customers is a must to executing a great tradeshow experience.
- Being flexible and resourceful. Things go wrong. In a tradeshow when things go wrong, you’re not only in a chaotic environment of a show floor, but you’re away from home and you’re under a time crunch. Not to mention the microscope of clients and management. If you can come up with rapid workable (not necessarily perfect) solutions under those conditions, you’re golden.
- Jack of all trades. As a tradeshow marketer, you are called on to wear so many hats your head will spin. ‘Nuff said.