While some exhibit staff enjoy representing their brand at trade shows, others might be averse to spending their time at these events. Whether it’s the massive time commitment (especially for out-of-town employees), employers who do not show appreciation, or the challenge of speaking to guests is simply a daunting task, you can make your exhibit staff feel comfortable and reward their efforts your marketing program will prosper.
Here are five of our favorite tactics to not only improve your exhibit staff performance but to get them excited about working your booth.
Assign roles based on personality and individual strengths
Exhibit Staff who are comfortable with their assigned jobs are guaranteed to peak in performance. For instance, extroverts can reel in visitors through open engagement while introverts can handle product demonstrations.
Take it a step further and allow the exhibit staff to select their own specialty area. Staffers who choose what role they would like to play in the booth will be inclined to succeed in that role.
Whether the roles are assigned or chosen by your team members, always conduct a staff training session.
Include your exhibit staff in the planning
Encourage them to participate in the brainstorming sessions or ask for their feedback on ideas. By the time the show comes around they will feel like they have a stake in the exhibit and its outcome. They will care more about the program and work harder to ensure it’s a success.
Treat working the show as a perk or reward
Select employees based on their achievements in the office. Treating the selection process like a competition will increase desire to be part of the exhibit staff. Getting the exhibit staff together for a group “thank you” dinner or other enjoyable activities during their downtime (before or during a show) adds to the fun and keeps excitement high. Also try to sprinkle in some little rewards like a bottle of wine, or massage at the hotel to reward the best and get them pumped to be there. Let’s face it, what salesperson doesn’t like a friendly competition?
Don’t overwork your staff
Working more than a four-hour shift is unrealistic, especially for full or multi-day events. Most salespeople are used to networking with a maximum of 20-30 people a day, and that can happen in a couple of hours on a trade show floor. If you maintain high energy levels in your exhibit by scheduling shorter shifts with longer breaks you can help alleviate the strain on your team. If shortening shifts isn’t possible then offer 30-60 minute breaks to compensate for lengthier workdays and allow for more note taking and recollection to make each opportunity matter more!
Reward your exhibit staff!
This is by far the most effective approach for boosting performance at trade shows. Here are three ways you can show appreciation for your team’s hard work.
1) Acknowledge your top performers. Handing out something as simple as a compliment goes a long way. People like to be told they are doing a job well-done.
2) Make sure your exhibit staff have a comfortable stay. For out-of-town shows book each employee a hotel located near the venue and provide a daily allowance for travel expenses such as meals and transportation. A standard rate for meals is $15 for breakfast, $15 for lunch and $30 for dinner. Keep in mind, this rate may need to be adjusted in cities that have a higher cost of living.
3) Offer time off after the event. Exhibit staff will be more willing to put in extra hours if they understand they will be rewarded with time off after the show.
Improving your exhibit staff performance does not have to be a difficult task as long as you’re prepared. A well-planned show will always help guarantee a successful event for everyone involved. What tactics do you use to improve your exhibit staff’s performance?