In 1934, the observatory crew on the summit of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington clocked the fastest wind gust in North American history. Its speed? 231 miles per hour! Volatile weather plagues the peak. And though most of us are unlikely to visit its summit, skiers and hikers to other altitudes will be wise to always check the forecast. Knowing how extreme conditions can be, would you trust an amateur or an experienced meteorologist for that critical information?
Some may see the difference between a professional and amateur as a financial matter. One gets paid, while the other does not or earns much less. But British theater critic, James Agate, shared a wise view on the subject. “A professional is a man who can do his job when he doesn’t feel like it; an amateur is one who can’t when he does feel like it.” The truth is, professionals often have more education and experience.
When you consider Agate’s words, would you leave your organization’s bottom line in the hands an amateur? When it comes to trade show staffing, a professional can help you find the right people with the right experience to work your booth and protect your marketing investment.
The Critical Role of Trade Show Staff
The people who staff your exhibit are your most important asset on a trade show floor. In fact, a survey by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) and others finds, “85% of an exhibitor’s success hinges on the performance of its booth staff.” This is in large part due to another statistic they report. “80% of what attendees remember most about your booth is their interaction with company reps.”
The impact your trade show staff has on attendees is astounding. There’s no doubt you want the visitor’s experience to be positive and directed toward achieving your goal. When choosing who you want to run your booth, you must take into account their full responsibilities. These include, but are not limited to:
- Approaching attendees and initiating conversation
- Answering simple-to-complex questions about your products/services
- Building brand awareness and brand loyalty
- Capturing data that enables relationship building or critical decision making
- Closing the sale and meeting other strategic goals
This work, so vital to your reputation and success, requires a versatile and competent team. It may call for professional trade show staffing.
5 Questions to Determine the Need for Professional Trade Show Staffing
Does your trade show participation get the results you need? If not, ask yourself these five questions. You may find the issue lies with current personnel, and the solution is in professional trade show staffing.
1. Do your staff personify your company or brand image?
You have seven short seconds to make a good first impression. This means your trade show staff should not only be well-groomed and appealing. They should also personify your brand. When they interact with attendees, those people will see your staff as an embodiment of your brand. They should match the image your company is trying to project. When staff don’t properly represent you, attendees may perceive your brand in a negative way. Your chances of making an impact can diminish, removing the opportunity to win business.
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2. Do your booth staff have the traits necessary to engage attendees?
Your trade show staff may have knowledge of your products or services. But consider how they relay this information to attendees. Can they explain it in an easy-to-understand manner for those who lack the same level of expertise? Can they initiate conversation and keep it going to build rapport and trust? Your staff member’s aptitude for easy communication will affect their connection with booth visitors.
3. Do they have the knowledge to be successful?
The CEIR survey also finds interaction rates to be “at-least one-third higher in exhibits where staffers have been trained.” Further, “the percentage of qualified leads that convert to a sale” more than doubles, from 7.4% to 15.8%, with trained staff. This means your personnel should know what key messages you want shared. They should also have enough product knowledge to outsmart your attendees. If you’re cutting corners on training or you’re not requiring proof of retention, you could lose a great deal of sales.
4. Are they accomplishing all that you ask them to?
How you approach each trade show is dependent on your goals at that time. These may include launching a new product or aiming for x amount in sales. To maximize trade show ROI and ensure your staff are effective, be sure to collect invaluable data. Its quantity and quality should help you discover areas of opportunity.
[Tweet “Having trained pros in your trade show booth more than doubles the % of leads converted to sales.”]
5. Do you have enough people staffing your exhibit?
You’ve got an impressive exhibit and have scored the prime spot on the trade show floor. Your interactive displays and giveaways are also drawing people in. But no one is available to greet attendees while they wait their turn. This sends them off to your competitor’s booth, where they have these things and the people to engage them. Make sure you have the right amount of staff to manage your potential traffic.
The Benefits of Professional Trade Show Staffing
When enlisting a reputable event staffing company, you remove the risk of not carrying out the critical tasks above. A staffing partner will select the right individuals to represent your company and help you generate revenue. They’ll choose people based on the image you want to portray with the skills necessary to meet your goals. The company will facilitate training on your key messaging, products or services and ensure staff retain and can use the information taught. They may also be able to supply mobile event technology to streamline data collection and capture field data. This will help to both meet your goals and maximize ROI.
Though your current team may have the best intentions, successful trade show staffing requires professional event staff. These individuals, and the agency who supplies them, have the skills and experience to deliver results.
Since 1999, organizations have looked to EPS to deliver their event’s most critical asset – its people. Contact EPS to learn more about our staffing, execution and mobile technology services.