how to win friends and influence people – at your trade show exhibit

how to win friends and influence people – at your trade show exhibit

Influencing people at your trade show exhibit

An eye-catching display can bring traffic to your trade show exhibit – but an engaging and knowledgeable staff can keep them there long enough to have an impact beyond the visual.

But how can you make sure the staff you select is trained adequately? Here are a few key areas you should focus on.


  1. Select staff well in advance of the event. This will give them ample time to prepare, ask questions, and express any concerns they may have.
  2. Choose your team wisely. Pick staffers who will work together well, and who have complementary skills so all bases are covered.
  3. Cover dress and presentation. If attendees will be extremely casual, your staff should match that. Your staff may look out of place in full suits if attendees are all in jeans .Provide resources and check in with past attendees if possible.
  4. Do your homework. Most conferences release sponsors and attendee lists before the event. Learn who will be there and about their organizations before you arrive so you can narrow your focus to the best matches for your business. Go after the best fits!
  5. Create measurable goals. Your staff will be more engaged if they have a plan and goals to work toward. Make your expectations for the event firm and clear, and ensure they have the resources needed to achieve them.

During the Event

  1. Remember – your staff is your company. To anyone visiting your booth, the staff members they speak with may be their first and only impression of your company. It’s vital that they walk away with a good feeling.
  2. Booth visitors care more about themselves than they do about you. It’s just the nature of the business. Visitors to your trade show exhibit want to know how you can help them in their business, and thus want to hear about the benefits of a relationship for them.
  3. You set the tone. Staff should look engaging and approachable. They should always be focused on who they are speaking with, not looking over them to see who might be lining up. People will be patient, and if they are truly interested, they’ll be back.
  4. Look alert! Working in a booth all day can be tiring. Make sure staff know not to lean, surf the Internet, or otherwise look disinterested in the event. If possible, schedule frequent breaks so staff can recharge and return to the booth fresh and ready for action.
  5. Your staff should ask questions and learn more about the person they are speaking with, as well as gathering contact information for future follow-ups.
  6. Your staff should be armed with stories and demonstrations of how your business can assist your booth visitors. Make sure they have a well of knowledge to draw from as they engage with attendees.

After the Event

  1. Follow up! Your awesome booth staff has gotten a ton of contact information from eager attendees, and it’s important to reach out while your company is still fresh in their minds.
  2. Use specifics. Your staff should write down details on the back of business cards they receive, or keep a log, so they can follow up with relevant information for each person.
  3. Track engagement success. This is helpful in determining if attending the show the next year will be beneficial. Be sure to keep a careful record of the return on your investment.

For more tips on staffing your trade show exhibit, be sure to check out our how-to on turning your staff into a dynamic sales force.

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