Your guide to booth staff etiquette and training
Your guide to booth staff etiquette and training
Research show that trade shows attendee’s weighs their interaction with staff over every other factor at the booth. Why then staff training often the smallest spending segments in marketing budget?
The center for exhibition research (CEIR) reported that, on average, booth staff training was a little as 1% of total trade show budget in 2012. That figure was still only 2% in 2017!
This guide looks at why you will want to invest in staff training and areas to apply that investment. A well-trained staff will be one of the most significant factors in the success (or failure) of your booth.
Ten type of booth staff etiquette to ensure success
Any investment you make in your booth staff should be to leverage these types of etiquette. It could invest the time it takes for you to research the people in your organization that have the right personality.
Or it could be investing in training it takes to teach specific behaviors and protocols.
- Be outgoing and warm. Approach people openly and with curiosity, always looking for ways to connect.
- Be well groomed, rested, and follow company dress code.
- Be aware of body language during conversations and during slow times.
- Be well versed with company products, services, target audience profiles, and show giveaways.
- Leave the booth if you do any of the following: eat, take phone call, and check mail, record prospect information, sit, or take a break.
- Project professionalism the entire show. This includes proudly representing your company, never giving out confidential information or bad-mouthing the competition.
- Wear badges high on the body like chest or right shoulder. When going in for a handshake, your badge and thus your name is right in eyesight. This eliminates, the awkward ‘midsection stare’.
- Great visitors individually, and with a smile.
- Understand staff roles, sales script, company objectives, and how to capture leads.
- Always have a few icebreaker introductions ready to strike up a conversation comfortably.
I. Booth staff training
Knowledge is power, and communication is key why not have a pre-show meeting focused around these concepts? The meeting can be housed just about anywhere. Company headquarters, the hotel everyone is staying at, or make it into a fun offsite event.
The meeting should be led or at least kicked off by someone in upper management or the most senior member of the staff attending the show. At this meeting, several things should be discussed, including:
- Code of conduct during the event
- Corporate objectives, goals, strategy, and procedures
- Key messages including sales scripts
- Management’s commitment to supporting the program
- Appreciation for the upcoming efforts and long hours
- Introduction of personnel with specific tasks and roles.
- Show details, attendee profiles, and anticipated number of guests
- Review names of VIP customers or prospects with protocol to alert staff.
- Review when (and when not) to give out show giveaways.
- Review show dates and hours as well as staff schedules.
This pre-show meeting is the perfect opportunity to make it clear what staff expectations are. It is not uncommon for a company to draft up a written document for staffers to sign off on.
II. Booth staffing strategy
- Your team’s profile
Trade show can be a grind. Set the ton early that you are a team that will work together to achieve the desired outcome. Develop the concept that when it is show time, everyone is an actor. You must know your lines and work together to engage your audience. You might find out that you have all the right people in your organization. If you don’t, you can supplement with engagement and enrollment professionals. These professionals are high-energy people that can operate in a real transactional way for your company. Your job is to make sure they know your goals and what the offer is.
- Your team’s size
There is an industry rule of thumb that you need 50 sqft for each staffer. For example, if you have 10*10 booth (which is 100 sqft), that is may of 2 maybe 3 staffers to have enough space for traffic.
Use this rule of thumb to quickly calculate how many staffers you will need for the show based on your booth size.
- Your team’s interaction capacity
This is one of the most important numbers to calculate in your entire trade show program. It is especially helpful if you know how many guests you are likely to have.
Start with your total exhibiting hours for the show-example: three 8 hour days = 24 exhibiting hours.
Multiply this number by your booth staff on duty to drive total staff hours: 24*3=72 total staff hours.
Next, multiply total staff hours by the target number of interactions per hour per staff. The target number of interactions per hour per staffer is between 3 and 5. With 3 being conservative, 4 being moderate, and 5 being aggressive.
Using the range of 3-5, your exhibit interaction capacity is 216-360.
If you are expecting much more than 360 people to come to your booth and interact, you should consider more than 3 staffers at your booth.
We thought we would end this guide with some more staggering statistics. According to EXHIBITOR MAGAZINE:
- 80% of what attendee remembers most about TRADE SHOW STAND is their interaction with company reps.
- 85% of exhibitor success hinges on the performance of its booth staff.
- Train staffers can convert on qualified leads at a 1-2 rate compared to untrained staffers.
- Only 26% of exhibitors conduct staff training for all or most of their events.
With trade show attendees weighing booth staff interaction over any other factor at your booth, it is worth investing in training your booth staff. Even simply training sessions can put your company a step ahead of most competitors.
Here in this guide, we listed ten important types of booth staff etiquette and how to leverage a pre-show meeting to map out training. We also discussed strategies on ideal staff team profiles, size, and interaction capacity.
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