When we delve into exhibition preparations, we talk a lot about the need for well-designed marketing materials, eye-catching displays, handy handouts and coming prepared with the tools you need, but we’re missing one key component of an exhibition or trade show: the staff. We take a look at the importance of exhibition staff, how to pick great employees, and how to keep morale up during the long days.
Exhibition staff: why bother?
Exhibition staff are incredibly important. Ultimately, you can’t run a successful trade show booth by yourself: you’ll need breaks, and what if the booth is swamped and you can’t give your visitors individual attention? You might lose customers! Exhibition staff are absolutely crucial to ensure the well-oiled machine that should be your trade show booth.
What makes good exhibition staff?
Generally an exhibition is staffed by BAs (Brand Ambassadors) and EMs (Event Managers). These are quite often performers or other creatives, earning some money on the side. As such, Brand Ambassadors are often:
- Smiley and friendly
- Talkative and communicative
- Outgoing and unafraid to approach customers
- Able to quickly absorb ‘scripts’ and information
All these qualities makes for fantastic exhibition staff. Ultimately you need someone who will intelligently communicate all the qualities of your product with a smile on their face.
How can you keep morale high?
Trade shows can be very long days. Here’s some tips and tricks to help keep exhibition staff morale high during the day:
- Keep motivation high with incentives. If your team can win a bonus for great customer service, or a prize for number of warm leads, it’ll keep motivation and focus high throughout the day.
- Provide the basics. Staff will probably come with their own food and drink, depending on their contract, but providing the basics goes a long way for morale. Provide water, tea and coffee, tissues, and anything else you think might make their day a little easier.
- Set breaks. With the help of your Event Manager, it’s important to set clear, timed breaks throughout the day. There’s nothing worse than going into a 13 hour shift and not knowing when you’ll get a chance to eat or sit down. Knowing from the outset gives clear and valuable structure to the event.
- Treat your staff. If they’re doing a good job, let them know! A sugar or caffeine injection is always appreciated on a long day and will help keep those energy levels up.
- Take the time to review. A lot of Promotional Staffing Companies have such a high turnover that it’s easy to treat their staff as nameless, faceless temps. Make sure you provide feedback on their performance, and be sure to highlight the good! Good feedback will lead to more jobs for the BAs.