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

January 2015

10 Skills Every Trade Show Event Staffer Should Have

The following is a guest article by Margaret Colebeck of Vantage Advertising LLC.

When it comes to preparing for an upcoming trade show, first impressions are everything. From trade show displays and signage to product demonstrations and presentations, the first impression your brand creates with trade show attendees sticks with them for life.

In order to create the ideal first impression for your brand, you must have a team of highly skilled and reliable trade show event staffers at your booth. But, what skills should they have? Below, we’ve listed the top ten most important skills every trade show event staffer should have. Use this list as a guideline to determine which skills are the most beneficial to your booth.

10 Important Trade Show Event Staffing Skills

  1. Tech Savvy – This is a big one! Without question, every event staffer at your booth should be knowledgeable and skilled with using technology, such as smartphones and tablets. This is most important when it comes to social media. Your booth staffers should be able to easily access your company’s social media accounts and share your social information with others. Social media, especially Twitter, is very popular for networking and lead generation at trade shows, so be sure your event staff come prepared with technology and social media skills.
  1. Strong Communication Skills – When it comes to trade show event staffing skills, your team’s ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important. Communication is the basis for everything at trade shows, so it’s important to fill your booth with event staffers that have strong communication skills. Lack of strong communications skills should never be a reason your team doesn’t meet their trade show goals.

  1. IMG_5416

    Listening Skills – Along with great communication skills, your team must also have great listening skills. Why? Because as important as it is to communicate your brand to attendees, it’s more important to listen to their needs so as to effectively provide a solution to their problems.

  1. Persuasion – If your event staffers can’t persuade attendees to try out your product, follow your brand on social media, or sign-up for more information, then why bring them to the trade show at all? Consider what your team’s trade show goals are and only bring team members that will be able to help achieve those goals.
  1. Multi-Tasking Skills – Trade shows are a busy place where multi-tasking it a must. Make sure your team is full of event staffers that can handle the fast-past, busy trade show environment. If the team members you select can’t multi-task at the office, they definitely won’t be able to on the trade show floor. So, don’t bring them
  1. Stamina – This skill should be a no-brainer for exhibitors that have worked trade shows in the past. Trade shows have long, draining hours the require event staffers to remain on their feet the whole time, while also keeping their personalities and moods turned on.
  1. Go-Getter Skills – It’s also important for your event staffing team to be full of people interested in achieving. Go-getters are the type of people who are motivated to approach as many attendees passing by your booth as possible. They are amazing networkers and typically have an incredible elevator speech.
  1. Flexibility – Flexibility is an important aspect of any trade show event staffing team because without flexibility a team can quickly fall apart, especially when problems arise and last minute adjustments are made.
  1. Negotiation Skills – The trade show floor is unpredictable. You never know what’s going to happen or who you’re going to run into. By having the skills to negotiate with attendees, your team will increase trade show leads and sales.
  2. Problem Solving Skills – Finally, no matter how hard your team plans for a trade show and no matter how many precautions your team takes, something will go wrong. And, when it does, your event staffers need to have the problem solving skills and patience to create an effective solution. Because as they say, the show must go on!

Margaret Colebeck is the Marketing Manager for Vantage Advertising, a nationwide event staffing company that provides exhibitors with experienced trade show models and booth talent for their events. She manages and writes educational content for their blog & social media pages in an effort to inform and inspire trade show exhibitors about trade show marketing, lead generation, event staffing, and more.

Click here to grab my Tradeshow Follow-up Checklist

What’s in Your Exhibiting Toolkit?

When it comes to your Exhibiting Toolkit, I don’t mean the screwdrivers, masking and duct tape and scissors (although those and other items will come in handy), but what about the various bits and pieces that will help draw visitors to your booth and capture more leads?

Let’s create a short but incomplete list of some of the necessary tools you should consider having in your toolkit.

  • A Damn Good Plan
  • A Well-Trained Booth Staff
  • A Booth That Represents Your Company Brand at a Glance
  • Lead Capture Mechanism
  • Follow-up Plan

Let’s break these down a little more:

A Damn Good Plan should include what you’re going to do 6 months before the show, 3 months ahead, 2 months, a month, etc. It includes your pre-show marketing schedule, the booth details (making sure to review the booth ahead of the show with plenty of time to do any minor repairs), electrical grid if needed, shipping dates, booth staff schedules.

A Well-Trained Booth Staff is a crew that is pleasant, friendly, knowledgeable, friendly (did I say friendly?), willing to work long hours, flexible and trained. Trained in what? Booth etiquette, how to interact with visitors for maximum efficiency, lead capture knowledge and more. Your staff is your front line in a chaotic environment. If there are any weak links in this chain it will eventually show.

Photo by Tradeshowguy Tim Patterson

A Booth That Represents Your Company Brand at a Glance: this often means a custom booth, but it certainly doesn’t have to. There are a lot of tradeshow booths that can be customized to fit your brand sensibilities. They also have to function well, meaning there has to be proper storage, product display and meeting areas to accommodate your company exhibiting goals.

Lead Capture Mechanism: Whether you’re writin’ those leads down on paper, or capturing them in electronic form, all of the leads should have maximum information required to confirm the next step, and nothing more. Name and address, phone number and email are often the top of the list, but ask if all of those items are absolutely necessary. What’s as important is agreeing on the next step, whether it’s a follow up call, meeting or simply sending more information. Agree on what the next step is, and when it will take place.

Follow Up Plan: How are the leads getting to the sales team back in the office for follow up? Are they being transmitted electronically back to the team each night? Are they being transported in your briefcase? Whatever the method, make sure not to leave them for someone else. Too many leads wind up in Neverland. Sticking them in an envelope and then tucking that envelope into the booth crates often mean that the next time you see them is 11 months later when you open up the crates to prepare for next year’s show! Beyond that, your sales team should be prepared to receive and follow up on the leads in a timely manner.

No doubt you can add to this list, but these are the basics. Leave any item here aside at your own risk!

Tricks of the Tradeshow: Get the Conversation Started

smiling woman greeting

This is a guest post by Ruthie Abraham of The Brand Builders.

Regardless of whether you’ve worked at dozens of trade shows around the country or whether you’re headed to your first show, coming up with a compelling way to get people to stop and see what you have to offer is always one of the greatest challenges at a show. A standard greeting normally isn’t enough to engage someone, so you need to develop a catchy opener.. Pre-plan your opener. It can be catchy, intriguing, flattering, startling, weird, clever or some combination of these, but we recommend having a few on hand and testing your pre-planned lines to see how initial attendees react. If you get a good response on one, you can continue to use it for the rest of the show and at your next exhibition.
Here, we break down 10 ways to get the conversation started in a compelling way and connect with a quality lead:

  1. Be upfront. Give me two minutes of your time to find out about how you can ___.
  2. Lead them. What is your department doing to lower your total cost of _____.
  3. Establish common ground. What do you think of our show so far?
  4. Take an indirect approach. Can I ask your opinion on something? 
  5. Get physical with a hands-on demonstration of product. Help me out with this!
  6. Show you care about client needs by asking them what problems they face. Which part of our service or product is most relevant to your needs?
  7. Draw them in with an offer, challenge or contest. Have you entered our raffle to win a free _____?
  8. Be presumptive. I see you looking at our services. Are there any features you have questions on that I can explain to you?
  9. Ask them to think about an industry problem (that your product solves). Hey! Do you know the statistic of _____?
  10. Make it open-ended. How are you familiar with our product or services?

Ruthie Abraham is the founder & President of The Brand Builders – a B2B marketing agency focused on helping companies drive results, return and revenue from their online marketing.  Their B2B Marketing Blog is a resource for executives and professionals to learn about lead generation, content marketing, strategic sales, social media, trade show marketing and more.

© Copyright 2016 | Oregon Blue Rock, LLC
Tradeshow Guy Blog by Tim Patterson

Call 800-654-6946 for Prompt Service Registered & Protected <br />