Training Your Booth Staff for Success
Updated: Mar 14
by Jim Cermak
Training your booth staff starts with giving them the basics, and then shows them how to use those basics to help reach your goals and maximize your ROI.
· When training is done right, it can make the difference between having an okay show and an amazing show!
· The Basics are so important and we’re going to cover 12 of them in this class
· To start – really there are just two questions.
· First question is do you train your booth staff? If YES, then what do you train them on? You need to train them on how to really WORK a show.
· If you don’t train, you need to start. Do not assume your staff knows how to work a show to meet your goals. We will be discussing exactly what to train on.
· The first thing you need to do is create a strategy and timeline.
· For a successful show, all of this doesn’t just happen right before the show – it takes planning.
· Assumption – You already have all of the display pieces, banners, and other items you need. If not, figure in time needed for design, printing and manufacture of those items.
· About 6-8 weeks out OR more – you need to prepare a complete strategy for the show. Work with company leadership to make sure you are focused on the right goals.
· You will need more time than this if you are preparing a large, complex booth or designing a new booth display.
· In your strategy, set goals, the focus at the booth, who will be working the show, pre-show marketing, and more. Go through every detail to be covered to plan the show and run the show AND hit your goals. Also assign responsibility for each aspect.
· About 2 weeks out – Hold a training session or conference call with everyone working at the show.
· Get feedback from your team to get buy-in.
· Once details have been finalized – follow up with a one-page summary they can print out, or have on their phone or ipad.
· The Basics – These apply to all types of businesses
1. Goals – Make sure everyone knows what you are trying to accomplish at the show, and their role in achieving those goals.
2. How to capture the info you need. Whatever your metric – make sure you have a system to achieve these. Train your team on how to use that system.
3. All about the show – Cover every detail that will be important to your staff. Include industry, number of attendees, job levels, show history, etc.
· Also share the show floor layout with booth location, customer and competitor booth locations.
4. Your key Product or business info
· What products or services are you promoting or highlighting at this show? What information or new promotions do attendees need to know? Main branding message you want your attendees leaving with. Every attendee should leave your booth not only with what they came looking for, but with what you want them to have.
5. All about Your booth.
· Your booth layout
· Booth design
· Marketing materials and literature
· Where the booth is on the show floor
· Attendee traffic flow
· Who is responsible for set up and tear down
6. Agenda and timing – Including timing for every event during the show your team is involved with.
· Exhibit set up and teardown times, and who is responsible
· Exhibit hours
· Meetings, workshops and networking events – times, locations and instructions
· Shifts times
· What to do at networking and social events – For some it can be an awkward experience. Train how to get the most out of these networking opportunities.
7. Games, Raffles or Giveaways – Make sure everyone understands what game/giveaway or raffle you are holding, and how it’s run. Every game, raffle or giveaway should have a purpose!
8. Booth Flow – A Booth Flow is the method and pattern for attendees to flow through your booth. Everyone working your booth should know exactly the process you want attendees to go through, who they should speak to, what products they should see, what they should leave with, and what info you want to capture. This is BY FAR the step which will get you the greatest return!
9. Attire – Make sure everyone not only knows what to wear, but that they have the right shirts or other items. Remind them to iron their clothes and come looking good!
10. Marketing before and during the show – Explain any mailers, ads, social media efforts, and other marketing.
11. Follow up efforts – Explain follow up efforts and responsibilities
12. After show recap – let your team know within a few days after the show you will be holding a meeting or conference call to get everyone’s feedback on the show, pros and cons, what changes should be made, and should you do the show again.