Things I Wish Somebody Would Have Told Me About Exhibiting
#8. Spoil your on-site exhibit staff.
The morale of your on-site exhibit staff is your secret weapon. A happy team is a productive team. And the happier they are, the more positive their interactions with be with your prospects and customers who’ll remember their professional interactions with your staff. And this memorability is what will linger long after your exhibit is back in its crates after the show.
What are you doing to make your on-site exhibit team comfortable with their show participation — mentally and physically?
Since we’re in show biz, I compare our exhibit to a stage we’ve set for attendees; our props are things like our graphics with key messages, demos, collateral literature, lead-gathering system and giveaways; our script is the elevator speeches, qualifying questions and product knowledge; and our exhibit staffs are our actors. So don’t forget the rehearsal that will incorporate it all into an award-winning performance. Are you mentally preparing your exhibit staff with pre-show communications, off-site strategy and boothmanship training, and an in-booth orientation before the show so they’re comfortable in their booth ambassador role and know what to expect when the show opens?
And are you considering what your exhibit staff want to get out of the show? Is it time off to attend some conference sessions, schedule meetings with prospects in their pipeline, check out the competition or network with colleagues and customers? You need to consider their objectives for the show, too, and scheduling their booth duty accordingly, not just telling them what the goals and objectives are for your corporate exhibiting program and expecting their instant buy-in.
And don’t forget to pack the creature comforts for your staff while they’re at the show – everything from having small bottles of water for parched throats and a variety of granola and snack bars when lunch just isn’t an option. In my “be-nice-to-your-staff-stuff”, I also stash a variety of headache and cold remedies, antacids to counteract show chili dogs, Pedialyte® or Gatorade® for the dehydration and electrolyte imbalance of hangovers, vitamin C candies to ward off colds, throat lozenges or cough drops, a variety of Bandaids®, tiny hotel-amenity bottles of mouthwash, enough TicTac® and Altoid® mints for everyone, a box of anti-viral tissues and even pump bottles of hand sanitizer. Oh, and don’t forget a supply of foam or gel insoles for tired feet. (Buy the largest size and let your staff cut them down to fit!) Achy, tingly feet are your exhibit staff’s biggest barrier between a smile and a grimace! (And yes, this is where I was first named “The Booth Mom”!)
Shows are tough duty, so it pays to do whatever you can to make them as easy on your staff as possible!