How many hundreds or thousands of dollars are you investing in your next trade show? It’s probably a pretty substantial amount of money, right?

And there’s nothing wrong with that! It’s usually necessary in order to secure a spot and make your booth attractive. The problem is, many people forget that the display is only half the battle. Once you’ve interested people enough to come up to your booth, the next step is to wow them with your company, product or service.

To get the most out of your trade show, you have to go beyond fantastic displays and remember to train your staff. Here are a few tips for doing that!

1) Simple Logistics

Where’s the booth? When does your staff need to be there? How can they find all the necessary supplies for keeping the booth going throughout the event (such as staplers, tape, brochures, and promotional items)? Give them a tour of the booth so they know where everything is.

Remember, no matter how knowledgeable or prepared your staff is to talk to customers, that won’t do any good if they aren’t clear on the logistics of the event and the booth!

2) Goals for the Event

Showing up is a good start, but how will you measure whether the event was successful? Which metrics matter most to you?

Here are a few types of goals you might consider:

  • Number of qualified leads per hour or day

  • Product demos per shift

  • Sales quotas for each staff member

There are many other possibilities, but remember that it all comes down to why you’re exhibiting at the event in the first place. Once you’ve decided on your goals, make sure to communicate them to your staff members so they have something to work toward while they’re representing your company at a trade show.

3) Interacting with Prospects and Customers

There are countless ways to go about interacting with the people who come up to your booth. You can treat each instance like a sales pitch, or just talk to them. You can have staff prepared to offer a product demonstration.

You could focus on a promotion, such as a contest that people can enter or a free item they can receive just for talking to you. Whatever your strategy is, make sure the staff is prepared ahead of time. Do they know what to do if a customer decides to buy right then and there? What about capturing a qualified lead?

These are some of the most important factors to consider as you train your staff for a trade show. Just make sure you put a decent amount of time into it so that your staff is prepared, professional, and effective at whatever goals you have for them!

~Tony Johnson

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