Before the Show
Find the right people for your booth
Having the right salespeople staffing your exhibition stand is critical. Something to consider is that
selling on the phone and selling in person are two very different things. Ideally, you want your sales to have charisma and character. In addition to choosing the best sales team, think about other members of your organization, such as Technical Support, Customer Success and Marketers, who could add value to the stand further enhancing the visitor experience when they come to your stand. Another great idea is to ask a customer to help advocate your brand at the exhibition, no one sells better than a happy, loyal customer.
Over and above having a great Sales and support team staff your stand, is the presence of Senior Executives on the stand. Your Senior Executives will have the greatest impact if they are able to attend for up to half-day, when the exhibition is in full swing. For Senior Executives, Trade shows are the best place to get a sense of the industry and speak directly with the customer.
The right number of staff
A crowd of staff at an exhibition booth is never a good look, especially when some of them are just standing around and answering emails and getting distracted. It’s important to work out just the right amount of staff based on how many visitors you’re expecting each day (you can get this information from the show organisers and then calculate the required staff).
A good way to work out how many staff you should have at your booth could be done by the goals you set for the event and the expected visitor numbers. If you set objectives to obtain a certain amount of Inquiries, Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL), Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) and Sales you would like to achieve from this exhibition, you will then be able to calculate the staffing levels required to support your goals.
Following is a hypothetical example of an approach to calculating staffing levels for your exhibition stand. If you want to generate 100 qualified leads and it takes approximately 10-15 minutes on average to deal with each visitor, a salesperson in this example would be able to handle a theoretical maximum number of leads per day of between 32 and 48. The theoretical maximum number will be reduced once you factor in time off for breaks (morning and afternoon tea, lunch and comfort stops). In this example, a good staffing level for the stand would be 3-4 salespeople.
Get your A-team on the same page
Now that you have defined your objectives for the show and have chosen the Sales and Support team to achieve the objectives, it’s time to work out what you are going to tell your team to achieve success.
Set up an event briefing meeting with the chosen Sales and Support team. At the briefing providing your events teams with the following:
- The Company objectives for the show
- Why they were chosen to be part of the team
- The show strategy, goals and objectives
- The key message that all team members need to deliver
- Each person’s role on the stand
- Training on how to document qualify leads
- How any competitions that you run works. For example, conditions of entry, prizes, draw time and dates etc.
Ideally, the briefing meeting should be run by either the CEO, MD or Senior Management at your company, to emphasis and importance of this event, as well as build hype and buzz.