Tips for Trade Show Staff

Exhibitions offer a great opportunity to gain qualified leads, make sales and increase awareness of your brand. But in order to make the most of these opportunities, you need to be well-prepared, fully organised and ensure that you avoid the most common exhibiting mistakes.

This includes being on top of exhibition staff training, ensuring that you have staff on your stand who can talk knowledgeably to prospective customers about your company and products. On the actual day of the exhibition, it will be down to the staff to make a success of it and engage with customers, so it’s important to have the right team. Here we have some tips on how to train your staff in order to be ready for an exhibition.

SELECTING YOUR EXHIBITION STAFF

Choosing your trade show booth staff is one of the hardest planning steps for any trade show exhibitor. Get it right and your show will be a huge success, get it wrong and you risk walking away empty-handed.

You should avoid filling your stand with only sales staff, as they may come across as too pushy for some prospects. It can be a good idea to have a receptionist/admin staff member to initially greet visitors and find out their needs. Plus, having a marketing person is useful to ensure the branding is all in place, assess the competition and engage with customers.

The best team always has plenty of experience, people skills, a positive attitude, an understanding of sales techniques and confidence in crowd gatherings. Start to gear up for the exhibition several weeks in advance so that staff have the time to fill any knowledge gaps.  They should also be knowledgeable about the company, products and services and the industry, including competitors. Not only that, but they should also be up to speed with sales techniques and know how to qualify leads.

What is Exhibition Staff Training? 

Exhibition staff training is the process of improving the skills of your exhibition staff so that they are able to sell more products or services at trade shows. This training can involve the following aspects:

  • Upskilling staff on the product or service you’re selling.
  • Improving all round behaviour on a stand.
  • Ensuring hygiene is to a professional standard.
  • Ensuring uniforms are distributed if necessary.
  • Outline the logistics of the day.

EXHIBITION STAFF TRAINING ONE WEEK BEFORE THE EVENT

When you’re one week away from your next trade show, it’s worth liaising with your team to check where your staff are at in terms of their training. Training your exhibition staff last minute isn’t best practice, but it gives you a chance to check that everyone in your team feels confident going into the show.

Brief your team and have a practice run on how they are going to behave on the stand. You can also fire questions at them to test their knowledge. It’s worth making sure your exhibition team are aware of the following:

  • Appearance
  • Hygiene
  • Exhibition objectives
  • Exhibition stand layout
  • Stand behaviour
  • Lead capture
  • Create a rota
  • What they need


1. APPEARANCE

Exhibition staff should wear appropriate uniform for the event. This will usually be smart-casual business attire. There might be some events where a suit is appropriate, such as legal events, but generally smart trousers or skirts with a shirt or smart top for women will suffice.

All clothing should be clean and ironed, and shoes should be polished, whilst avoiding any bright items. Standing on an exhibition stand all day is tiring, so make sure clothes are comfortable and don’t wear high heels. You may want to provide a uniform for staff.

Hair should be neat and tidy, nails clean and neat, and make-up should be subtle. The appearance of staff will give visitors their first impression of your company, so it’s important that they look presentable.

2. HYGIENE

All staff should shower daily and apply deodorant. Strong scents can be off-putting, so they should avoid wearing lots of aftershave or perfume. There is nothing worse than talking to staff with bad breath, so avoid garlic and strong foods during the exhibition.

Event halls can leave you hot and sweaty, so it’s a good idea for staff to carry deodorant, make-up and mints throughout in order to stay fresh and continue to be welcoming to potential leads.

3. EXHIBITION OBJECTIVES

Staff training can also involve going over exhibition objectives. Staff should be clear about the objectives for the event. This may be launching a new product, making sales,  gathering a certain number of leads, or positioning the company within the industry.

Just make sure they know what the goal is. For lead generation, you can make a competition in order to incentivise staff, e.g. the person who gains the most leads wins a prize.

4. EXHIBITION STAND LAYOUT

Outlining your exhibition stand layout is often overlooked when it comes to training your trade show staff. Staff should be aware of what the stand looks like, where they are supposed to stand, where the products will be etc.

During this training, you can explain where you hope visitors will go and how the stand flows. Staff will also need to know where the toilets and restaurants are, as well as where they can store bags and charge phones.

5. STAND BEHAVIOUR

You need to lay down some ground rules for how staff should behave on the stand. Allow enough staff to cover breaks, because standing at an exhibition all day is tiring. Ban food, mobile phones and laptops from the stand, as seeing staff eating or working will put off visitors.

Staff should be attentive to visitors at all times, you’d be amazed at the number of times you see staff standing with their backs to attendees, chatting to each other. They should approach passers-by first and smile! Your body language at an exhibition can play a vital role in engagement over the duration of the show.

6. LEAD CAPTURE

Your staff need to be trained to qualify leads quickly so that time isn’t wasted. You can use lead capture forms, but to make the process easier, it’s a good idea to invest in lead capture software. This will automate the process and make it quicker, and the information can be synced with your CRM system, avoiding the need for lots of data entry.

7. CREATE A ROTA

To ensure the stand is staffed adequately at all times, it’s a good idea to set up a rota.  Regular breaks and lunch need to be factored in for all staff, and you need to make sure they don’t all disappear at once. For a long show, you might want to allocate shifts so that staff aren’t on the stand for lengthy periods.

8. WHAT THEY NEED

Provide your staff with passes for the exhibition and car parking passes if required. They may need train tickets and confirmation of hotel bookings. Giving them a map of where they should go once at the venue is also a good idea so that they don’t get lost. Make sure they arrive at least half an hour before the show opens so that you can explain where everything is.

CONCLUSION

To get a good ROI from an exhibition, it is vital to be prepared. Your staff could make or break the show, so ensuring that you’ve rolled out sufficient exhibition staff training is important.

Your staff need to know how to behave on the stand, how to qualify leads and how to demonstrate the products. Ensuring that they come across well to visitors will help you to achieve your goals for the exhibition.

At Quadrant2Design we are leaders in exhibition stand design, creating modular exhibition stands, custom exhibition stands and more. Contact us to find out more.