Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.
Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.

4 Ways to Avoid Tradeshow Exhibiting Zombies

As a tradeshow manager, one of the worst things you will ever face is a booth staff that has become, well, zombies part way through the tradeshow. If you leave the booth and come back to find your staff spending time discussing politics or gossiping about business (disengagement), or if you see things disappear (employee theft), ignoring visitors (wtf? – visitors are why they’re there!), you’ve got a Zombie Apocalypse!

Zombies in your tradeshow booth don’t actually walk around chewing on your tradeshow booth or looking to dismember visitors, but with active disengagement your booth staff might as well be zombies for all the good they’re doing your company.


So, here are 4 ways to avoid Tradeshow Exhibiting Zombies.

Make sure your staff is trained. Nothing’s worse than untrained staff, expect perhaps an uninformed staff. If your staff doesn’t have the skills to interact positively with visitors or know how to answer questions, they might as well be the walking dead.

Marketing goal buy-in. If your booth staff has only the bare information on why they’re there (pick up a paycheck!), you’re doing your company a disfavor. Your booth staff, from the lowliest temp employee to the highest ranked engineer or member of management, should know exactly WHY you’re at the show, WHAT the goals are, and HOW to attain those goals. If they SEE the goal and BELIEVE in what you’re doing, chances are very good they’ll have BUY-IN and will participate with energy and enthusiasm. If so, they’re emotionally engaged. In not, they might as well be…you get the point.

Communication. Your Zombie Apocalypse is only a motion or two away if you aren’t able to communicate effectively and in a timely manner. If that means you’re tweeting about a prize giveaway or posting great deals on Facebook that will spur visitors to rush to your booth, but don’t tell all of the staff, those promotions may fall flat on its face.

Show them you appreciate them. Yup, sometimes the hardest thing for some folks is to say THANK YOU for a job well done. If your tradeshow succeeds and your staff did a stellar job, be sure to recognize them for it. Often the recognition can be nothing more than a pat on the back in front of the staff, but it can also mean that you’re buying them a nice dinner on the last night of the show and telling them as a group that you couldn’t do it without them. Whatever form of recognition you choose, you must be sincere and believable.

Follow these guidelines and the Zombie Apocalypse will likely bypass your company and instead devour your competition!

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 photo credit: possan

  • Mel White ,

    Tim —

    You need to write a follow-up post — 10 Things Zombies Can Teach Us about Tradeshow Marketing. Here are the first two:

    1. Single-minded Focus: You may not appreciate their all-consuming desire to eat your flesh, but they are committed to the task. They let nothing get in their way, except an ax to the brain. Your next trade show will be wildly successful, if you make it a priority, not an afterthought.

    2. Teamwork Matters: Zombies travel in packs, like ravenous wolves. That teamwork ensures them a much higher percentage of kills. There’s a reason “We killed it” signifies success. By working together, those poor doe-eyed attendees don’t stand a chance.

    • Tim Patterson ,

      Hey, great idea, Mel! I”ll get right on it. I’ll make sure to give you credit 🙂

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