Next up in our series of trade show marketing mistakes is Mistake #3: Poorly trained staff.
Face it, trade shows are expensive. Between the cost of exhibiting, your display itself, airfare, hotel, meals and freight, you’re paying a pretty penny. Don’t blow it all by staffing your booth with employees who could be replaced by mannequins. If they’re going to sit in the corner engrossed in a phone call or online, what’s the point?
Most employees don’t want to do a bad job; they just need to be told how to do a good one.
For starters, make sure your employees know the basic “don’ts” of trade show etiquette: don’t eat, drink, chew gum, sit, read, talk on the phone, block the entrance to the booth, or cluster in a corner with other employees.
As for the basic “do’s”: Do get to the show on time, ready to go as soon as the show opens. Dress professionally, in an outfit that will make it easy to identify you as staff. Wear your nametag where it can be seen easily. Acknowledge prospects, even if you’re talking to another prospect. Keep the booth tidy and accessible.
To move beyond the basics, staff your booth with people who are outgoing, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Teach them to qualify prospects (more on that in an upcoming post), take good notes, offer solutions, and provide appropriate comparisons to the competition.
Remember, the object of the trade show isn’t to collect as many business cards as possible or hand out as many brochures as possible. Whether you’re trying to make sales, build your list, generate press coverage, or introduce a new product, your efforts need to be targeted. Make sure your staff understands exactly what your goals for the trade show are, and exactly what they need to do meet them.