Getting the Bang for Your Buck When Staffing Tradeshows

Tradeshow and Exhibiting Tips
Photo Credit: TechShowNetwork

Well, sitting here at the end of a long day of meeting planning thinking about the some different things. Mainly, tradeshows today. We have a  number of clients that participate in both industry and consumer shows, for these clients we provide a number of services Booth Design, Show Management, Training, Staffing, Etc.

It never fails to amaze me that some companies spend a bazillion dollars to build a booth, ship it and product, send their staff etc to a show half way around the world–Yet once everything is set up and the show is in full swing, all of their staff is sitting at a desk, eating a sandwich, chewing gum or standing there with their arms crossed looking like they would love to be anywhere but the show. Then they pack up, go home and wonder why they got only 2 leads from a 3 day show.

It seems like a simple premise, but if you are going to make the effort to make the show, act like you have the most  wonderful product, the best service, the new “wheel” if you will. Jump up and down, smile, talk to people in the aisles and for  heavens sake, act like being there is the most fun you have ever had– even if it isn’t. Before you get on the plane, have the  staff know your elevator pitch inside and out, this way when a prospect walks into the booth they can learn about your  product or service in 30 seconds. The turn around in lead generation and closed sales will be almost instant.

Also, get new graphics for your booth. It can make the difference between someone approaching your booth or walking in  the other direction. If you have an existing display–upgrade it. Low cost, high impact results. You are spending $3500.00 on  the space, $500.00 on internet, a few hundred for electricity, and who knows how much getting the staff there, keeping their  tummies full and putting a roof over their head. Help them generate leads by having a booth that is representative of your company’s image. After all of this, what is a few thousand on graphics that are well designed and produced professionally?

Uh oh, here comes the ramble…………

One more thing, do not wear a suit when you are in the booth. We have a fortune 100 client that hired us to represent their new hip consumer electronic product.

Our staff were expertly trained and doing a great job. They were looking quite smashing in their khakis and polo shirts. A senior VP of Sales came to the show (consumer show, everyone in attendance was in jeans and shorts) and wanted to show us the what-for and how well he could sell. He was in a suit, wing tips and all, trying to sell a fun product. Needless to say, he  got nada. He had just come from a big corporate meeting where he got the product placed in every one of a major retailers  stores, but could not get a sale on the show floor. Not because he could not sell, because the suit made him stuffy and  unapproachable.

Suit………good for corporate meetings, Bad for tradeshows.

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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