The team you take to trade shows may not have the most exciting job, but it has the most important: winning business. Find out how to make sure it succeeds.
Why trade shows are a team gameEvery trade show has that one booth with the gimmick – the company hooking visitors in with the chance to sit in a Formula One race car or travel to the moon via VR. And it can be easy to look on in envy, but these attention-grabbers are not always as effective as you might think.
Sure, you want that extra something to catch the eye, but your real asset at a trade event is your team of staffers. In fact, a full 90% of what visitors remember about your company at a show will be based on interactions with your booth staff.
The people manning your stand form the most important part of winning new business. After all, a race car cannot qualify leads for you – that is all down to your team.
Five tips for exhibition team success
Your team becomes even more important in a trade show as big as INTERCLEAN Amsterdam. With plenty of competition for attention, you have to engage visitors as effectively as possible; so here are my top tips for building and motivating the right group of people:
1. Choose the right team for the job
The people you choose to attend your show will make all the difference to how successful you are at qualifying leads. Make sure you build a team of people who want to be there. After all, a trade event can be hard work – and you want to know your staffers are dedicated enough to keep their focus throughout.
The number of people you take with your team will also have a major impact on how well you perform. You need to make sure you have enough staffers to handle the amount of visitor interactions and demonstrations you will engage in during the show, and the size of your stand will be a defining factor. For a small stand, I would recommend a team of 3-4 people. For while companies in larger stands, I suggest taking between 9-12 people to the show.
2. Invest in training to make the most of your team
You might be picking the best team of staffers to take to the show, but not everyone will have the same level of training or confidence when it comes to engaging with booth visitors.
Taking the time beforehand (and I do not mean half an hour before) to get everyone up to speed with how to direct their body language and conversations will pay off massively when it comes to drawing in leads. I would even recommend running role play scenarios with your staffers to get them ready.
3. Be clear about your expectations for the show
It is much easier to motivate your staffers when they know exactly what is at stake. Being clear about what you have invested in attending a show – as well as your goals for your business and the individuals in your event team – will keep them focused on the task in hand.
On top of this, make sure each staffer knows exactly what actions they have the authority to take. This will give them the autonomy to engage visitors effectively and improve their ability to meet any targets you might expect of them.
4. Create a schedule for everyone to follow
With so much going on at a big event, it can be easy to miss the small things. You need to make sure everyone knows the fine details – where to be, how to get there, how to get passes, where to store belongings etc. These might seem like tiny details, but they can cause some of the biggest issues if not taken care of.
It also helps to have a clear rota of sorts for your staffers. As well as keeping your stand manned as needed throughout the day, it also assigns breaks and gives your people a well-earned rest – during which they can refresh themselves ready to head back into the fray.
5. Incentivise staffers to perform at their best
Even though you have to work hard while you are there, attending a trade show is meant to be fun – and a little friendly competition will not hurt your chances of increasing both the enjoyment and the productivity your team gets out of each day.
Prizes and recognition for the staffers performing best and qualifying the most (or strongest) leads are a good way to keep everyone motivated and focused throughout a long day. Just make sure that whatever incentive you arrive at is directed towards creating the most positive possible impression of your people, your booth and your business.
Reap the rewards of lead generation
Exhibiting at a trade show is a hugely rewarding experience for your people and your business, but you have to put in the effort to make the most of your investment.
Follow these five tips and you will have a team capable of bringing in quality leads, as well as building effective networks and relationships within your sector.