How Trade Shows Work

Organizing Your Staff

Now that everyone is trained and ready, you need to get them organized. First you need to assign a Show Captain to be in charge and manage the other staff members. Even if you are attending a small show and are only sending two staffers, it still makes sense to do this so they know who is responsible for what.

Part of the Captain's job will include organizing booth rotations and breaks. There are always other activities during the show such as vendor meetings, client luncheons, training sessions, etc., that warrant sending a booth staffer to attend. The Captain should review the show schedule and set up an appropriate schedule for the booth staff based on the exhibit hours and competing events. Once everyone arrives, the captain will also lead a pre-show meeting to go over the show objectives, strategies, special booth presentations, etc., and to answer any last minute staff questions. It's also a good idea to meet each morning prior to the show to talk about experiences and problems from the previous day.

You'll also need to assign someone the job of managing the show leads. This person will ensure that follow-up letters are written, information packets are prepared for mailing, and lead forms are filled out correctly and completely (including assigning a priority code based on your own pre-determined system). You'll find that a lead management system will work much better and you'll have a much higher percentage of closures if you assign one person the responsibility of managing it.

Additional Tips
Here are few additional tips that your booth staff should keep in mind while at the show.

  • Don't eat in the booth.
  • Don't talk on the phone in the booth.
  • Watch your body language. (Don't stand with your arms folded across your chest -- it's not an "inviting" stance.)
  • Remember breath mints!
  • Take breaks -- about five minutes per hour.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Dress depending upon your industry and market.
  • Don't carry on conversations with other booth staff while prospects are walking by.
  • Don't sit down while attendees are in the exhibit hall.
  • Do venture out into the aisle to greet attendees.
  • Make sure you have a pen and a lead form handy at all times.

Okay, your staff is armed and ready. Now go make some money! Next, we'll help you set up a system to get the most out of your show leads.