We talk about the importance of face-to-face time at exhibitions, how attendees and exhibitors value this interaction and rate it highly.  However, there are many exhibitors who have booth personnel who are just empty suits.  They have not prepared themselves mentally to engage in actions that welcome attendees into their booth and other tactics to help maximize success from exhibiting.  Logic would indicate that they should be ready for the show, but the critical step of training has been missed.

The new report The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction Study Series titled Exhibition Staff Practice Summaries analyzes exhibit staffing. It provides an in-depth view of critical attributes of staff from the attendee’s perspective, comparing preferences to what exhibitors typically provide.

Keith Reznick, President of Creative Training Solutions has trained thousands of booth personnel.  He shared three key questions to consider when picking booth personnel.  Ask your booth staff to answer these questions:

  1. Tell me about your company?
  2. What’s new?
  3. Why would we pick your company from all of the other exhibitors here at the show?

In addition to being prepared to answer questions about one’s company, the CEIR report results suggest the importance of listening to attendees and providing responses that are customized to their specific interests and concerns.  It is essential to be conversational and not respond to questions using a ‘boiler plate’ or ‘canned’ response.

Keith shares that  “access to the web enables attendees to hit the show floor with an agenda. They know who they want to see and the questions they’ll ask; exhibit staff need to be prepared for this. Unfortunately most are not.”

A few years ago a Keith and a colleague  interviewed attendees as they left the floor. They asked them “what they expected of exhibit workers?” and here’s what they had to say in this video:

What training techniques have you used?

Please share with us the ways you prepare your booth personnel for the interaction on the trade show floor.  Do you have someone on your staff train or do you engage an outside firm?

This article is not sponsored and is intended to provide education purposes only.