6 Key Positions to Consider When Staffing Trade Shows

Trade shows are a valuable opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and services, connect with potential customers, and build up their brand recognition.

The success of any trade show presence really hinges on the staff you select to represent your brand during the event.

We will explore the key positions you need to fill when staffing trade shows, the ideal personalities for these roles, how to find the right staff, set up job descriptions, and provide the necessary training to ensure a successful trade show experience.

Types of Staff and Their Roles

Successful trade show staffing requires effective communication, product knowledge, engagement skills, and a clear understanding of your company’s goals for the event.

Exhibit Manager

An exhibit manager is responsible for your overall trade show strategy, planning, and execution. They coordinate all aspects of the event, including booth design, logistics, and staffing trade show events.

The exhibit manager also manages the budget and ROI assessment and ensures that all teams involved follow a pre-defined schedule and meet all objectives.

An exhibit manager should be organized, detail-oriented, calm under pressure, customer-focused, budget-conscious, have a positive attitude, and be a strategic thinker.

Sales Representatives

The sales representatives are the face of your brand at trade shows. They need to be charismatic, persuasive, and knowledgeable about your products or services.

Look for team members who are confident, friendly, and can engage with attendees more effectively.

Two women standing next to a parked car at a trade show hall

Product Demonstrators

If any of your products require a hands-on demonstration, product demonstrators play a pretty important role and are face-to-face with attendees.

The people you choose to demonstrate your products should be skilled at showcasing every product and its features and benefits.

Product demonstrators at your booth should be enthusiastic and approachable.

Brand Ambassadors

These staff members should exude passion for your brand and its mission. They help create a more positive image of your company and can include influencers who align with your brand’s values and mission.

Brand ambassadors should be friendly and outgoing, confident, enthusiastic, adaptable, and reliable. They should be able to speak in public confidently and have the networking and problem solving skills necessary to connect with people and think on their feet.

Logistics and Support Staff

The people who work behind the scenes at the trade show event are just as important as those who are out front and center.

They manage booth setup, ensure all the materials are ready to go and assist with any technical or logistical issues that may arise during the event.

Dependable and detail-oriented people are essential for these logistic and support staff roles.

Greeter or Booth Attendant

A greeter (or sometimes called a booth attendant or booth assistant) at a trade show plays a vital role when it comes to setting the tone for the event and creating a positive experience for attendees.

Greeters are stationed at the entrance or key locations within the trade show venue and they greet and welcome attendees. They should be friendly and approachable, have a positive attitude, be enthusiastic and empathetic, while remaining professional, knowledgeable, and approachable.

All of these personality traits collectively contribute to creating a positive and welcoming atmosphere at a trade show.

How to Find the Right Staff

There are many options when it comes to finding the right staff for your trade show events.

Internal Employees

You don’t have to look far!

Consider leveraging your current team members who are already well-versed in your brand or products. They already have the knowledge and know-how needed to effectively engage with potential customers at the event.

Sales and support roles are best filled by your internal employees.

Industry Influencers

You can collaborate with industry influencers who can draw a crowd to your booth. Influencers usually have a devoted following and can help you increase booth traffic while also creating buzz and excitement around your brand.

woman handing a man a piece of paper at a trade show

Local Staffing Agencies

If you need temporary hires, local staffing agencies can provide experienced people for your trade show needs.

These staffing services often have a roster of trained professionals and talent ready to go who can seamlessly integrate into your team.

Product demonstrators, models, greeters, and appointment setters are best filled by local staffing agencies.

Setting Up Job Descriptions and Screenings

To make sure you find the absolute best people for each position when staffing trade shows, you need to set clear job descriptions and perform thorough screenings. Job descriptions should include the following:

· Job title and responsibilities
· Qualifications and skills required
· Availability and duration of the role
· Compensation details

The screening process should include resume review, interviews, and reference checks. Keep an eye out for candidates who demonstrate a strong understanding of your brand and industry.

Training and Setting Expectations

Before the trade show, it’s essential to provide training and set clear expectations for your staff. Here is what proper training ahead of the trade show event should cover:

Brand Voice

Make sure that each staff member speaks with a consistent voice that is on brand. Your brand’s messaging and values should be reflected in each interaction. The brand voice should also be consistent, and each team member must be well-versed in the features and benefits of your products or services.

Goals and Objectives

Have defined and specific trade show goals and make sure that each staff member knows how to achieve them. These goals and objectives can include lead generation, product demonstrations, or sales targets.

You also need to train them on key metrics and explain how trade show success will be measured whether it’s through the number of leads generated, how many sales were closed, or customer engagement.

group of people standing around a table for training

Etiquette and Engagement

Teach your staff how to approach and engage with attendees respectfully and professionally. This includes how to handle inquiries, objections, and difficult situations. When trade show staffing, you want to make sure each team member knows how to initiate conversations, actively listen, and create an inviting atmosphere in the booth. Teach them to ask open-ended questions and show empathy to understand their needs.

Dress Code

Establish a dress code that aligns with your brand image. Ensure staff members present a polished and professional appearance. It helps to provide examples of appropriate attire. Some choose to use uniforms or other branded apparel for staff to ensure a more consistent and professional appearance.

The comfort of staff members should also be taken into consideration. Since staff members will be on their feet for long periods of time, provide guidelines for comfortable footwear.

Collectively, all of these components when trade show staffing can create a well-organized, professional and engaging trade show presence that resonates with attendees and makes a positive impact on your brand’s reputation.

Success at a trade show is often measured by your manpower, the achievement of specific objectives, and the lasting impression your company leaves on attendees. This can all lead to increased sales, brand recognition, and long-term business relationships. Simply put? Trade show success!

Ready to discuss your staffing needs ahead of your next trade show event? Contact Expo Ease today, and let’s get started!

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Peter Frigeri

Horticulturist. Entrepreneur. Eco-adventurer. Peter Frigeri has been innovating in business since he moved to Las Vegas in 1991 to run trade show operations for Showtime Florists. Just a couple years later, he went out on his own, founding Falcon Floral, and within five years, he evolved that business into Expo Ease. In 2000 he took advantage of technological innovations to expand his company to offer a full suite of event services, from show decor to photography marketing. Meanwhile, in 2009, Peter launched his third business, Gaia Flowers Plants Gifts. With a focus on local and sustainably-grown products, Gaia is also a full-service company, with services ranging from event floral, delivery to commercial plant maintenance. And as if that weren’t enough, Peter is an officer on the boards of two local nonprofits, Great Basin Permaculture and Friends of Gold Butte. In both his personal and professional lives, Peter does everything he can to fight for the preservation of the Earth and its resources, so that his children and grandchildren can enjoy its bounty as much as he does.

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