The blog just prior to this one–titled “5 Ways to Select Booth Staffers“— discussed choosing the right people to man your booth. Now that you have the right people with the right stuff, what do they need to know before the show? They have a great attitude and they are great at talking to people, but they lack information and objectives. Time to open tradeshow training camp! This is the knowledge you must impart on your staff:
1. Look out for No. 1. It can be very draining to stand on a cement floor all day conversing with people. All of your booth staffers do not need to be there from open until close. Create a schedule that gives everyone breaks during the expo floor hours to help them stay refreshed. Teach them that breaks are used for getting water, a light snack, and relaxing. Remind them that comfortable (and professional looking) shoes are a must, and that having a good night’s sleep and staying hydrated will make their time at the booth better.
2. Qualify people. This does NOT mean scanning everyone’s badge and sorting it out later, if someone gets around to it. It means deciding before the show what sorts of prospects your company is seeking, and conversing with booth visitors to determine what level of prospect they are. Don’t interrogate them, just have a conversation. Write their info on the back of their business card, for example. Now the salespeople will know what sort of follow-up work to do.
3. Know the products/services. Attendees of a trade show have a finite amount of time to accomplish their goals. When they stop at your booth to learn more, they want someone who can answer their questions. (You see, they are qualifying you, too!) Hiring models (aka, booth babes) gets attention, but it doesn’t get you qualified leads or the respect of your prospects.
4. Short and sweet conversations. As mentioned, show attendees have an agenda of their own when they come to walk the show floor. They may have even mapped out their stops on the floor plan. The objective for the booth staff is to be friendly and welcoming, while getting quickly to the point. It’s an expo, not a sales meeting. Save the intense conversation for when you’re away from the show floor, or schedule meeting for after the show. You have thousands of other potential prospects to meet.
5. Goals. Just slapping up a display will not achieve your trade show objectives. Nor will smiling and greeting everyone who passes your booth. It’s important to have clear goals, and to make sure all of the staffers know and understand them. Give them the tools they need, and they’ll come through for you.
And for Pete’s sake, thank them! Manning a booth takes a lot out of you, even if you want to be there.
How do you prepare your booth staff? We want to know!
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