Yep, that stunning exhibit and innovative demonstration will attract people to your booth, but they will fall flat pretty quickly if your booth staff can’t pass muster. Awkward, oblivious, or un-trained booth staff will increase your booth’s proverbial “bounce rates” faster than a neighboring booth’s entertainer can juggle. Thorough staff event training is the only hope to ensure your staff’s legacy is as powerful as you need it to be.
Staff Event Training is Integral to Your Pre-Show Planning Itinerary
Trade show veteran and consultant-extraordinaire Candy Adams says that staff event training is the most important component of pre-show planning. Yet, she reports that a 2012 report by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) found, “Only 26 percent of exhibitors conduct training for all or most events, and more than 50 percent rarely train or never hold exhibit-staff training sessions.”
Yikes! These are the people who are meeting and greeting your prospective clients, the ones answering relevant questions and who carry the reputation of your company’s brand on their shoulders – and only half of them are professionally trained?!?
That’s a dismal reality. Don’t let your company fall to the dark side of that 50% statistic. Here are tips for training staff members that are worthy of the responsibilities bestowed upon them.
Provide a well-rounded overview. Make sure your first training session (there should be more than one if you can make it happen) includes a holistic review of your company’s:
- Marketing strategies and trade show goals
- Products and/or services
- Boothmanship training
- In-booth orientation
- Itinerary and housekeeping expectations
When push comes to shove, Numbers 1, 2, and 3 are of the utmost importance.
Head to the show early. As you can imagine, proper staff training takes time, and although it will increase your overall budget a bit, heading to the venue a day or two early will be well-worth it. The longer trainees have exposure to your M.O., and the more “bonded” they feel to the company, the better job they will do when venue doors open.
It’s time for role play. It can feel corny, and there may be a bit of squirming, but role playing is essential to make sure your booth staff are prepared to answer the questions and scenarios that will come their way. Well-versed booth staff who know how to suss out your most qualified leads will do wonders for your brand’s reputation.
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