Why Staff are your most important asset – and how they will Make or Break Your Trade Show Success

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One thing we’ve all really missed during these COVID times is one-on-one contact with others. Although we’ve adapted by moving online for everything including working, education, shopping, socialising and even exercising, we’ve come to realise that nothing is quite like a face-to-face interaction.

Over the last 15 months, we’ve missed our trade shows where thousands of people can get together under one roof, from one industry to discover what’s new, what’s trending and what’s being developed in that particular industry.

Whilst the online platform may reach a huge audience for your business, a trade show is the only place to reach a truly concentrated audience of focussed prospects face-to-face.

With things ramping up and restrictions slowly being lifted around the world, we’re seeing a real enthusiasm for live events again. As businesses are getting their confidence back, trade shows are looking very attractive as a way to re-energise.

This being the case, it is imperative that any person representing your business at a trade show knows their role inside-out, and understands what it means to be an ambassador for your brand.

Your staff should be reinforcing a positive image of your brand at all times whether on the stand or walking about the hall and even on break times. On the trade show floor they are your most valuable marketing tool. They should be impeccably turned out, knowledgeable, professional and able to relate to and converse with strangers well.

One of the main aspects of the job of manning exhibition stands is the ability to relate well, listen to the customer and make them feel they have ‘come to the right place’. These are not necessarily easy or natural attributes for everyone. It may not fit with the personality of your existing specialist or expert. So, by all means have your experts on stand-by for any tricky technical questions, but have someone who exudes confidence and affability as your first point of contact.

You may need to consider hiring someone specifically as a ‘spruiker’ to attract people onto your stand, or at the very least spend some time and money on training existing staff on how they should professionally and adequately represent your brand in public.

And just as you carefully plan the appearance of your exhibition stand down to details such as colour theme, branding, graphics, lighting and flooring to create a cohesive brand message you’ll need to make sure your staff and their appearance tie in with your overall theme too.

Some form of identity which ties in with your stand design whether an entire uniform, colour theme, individual clothing item such as a t-shirt or cap or even just a badge with your logo is a good idea. It makes it easier for visitors to connect your staff with your stand.

Knowledge of your products, prices, specials, and particularly your goals for the event are a must for all your stand staffers. These are the people your prospective customers will be dealing with and asking questions of and they may not be willing to wait until another salesperson follows up their enquiries. (There will be plenty of your competitors in close vicinity who will be more than happy to jump on those prospects looking for an answer or a sale immediately!)

With all the planning and effort going into design and build of your exhibition stand, staffing can often be left as a bit if an afterthought but with the best looking stand in the world, you won’t get any new customers without that personal touch. Make staffing a priority and something which is considered from the offset as part of your overall exhibiting plan.