Summer is usually a good time to start gearing up plans for big fall trade show slates. It’s a good time to order new banners and trade show displays or replacement graphics so you can have a fresh message to match your new goals this fall. Summer is also the perfect time of year to re-visit your trade show training and staffing strategies. Here are some useful tips for keeping your staffers sharp and how to keep your approach from getting stale.
1) Have staffers and customer service work together: If your trade show staff doesn’t include anyone from customer service, consider setting up some meetings or shadowing days for your staffers or sales people with your customer service staff. Customer service representatives know all the selling points as well as pain points of the company and its products or services. This helps sales people tap into what potential customers at trade shows need to hear about the company’s product or service.
2) Discuss conversation starters: While you don’t want any conversation with a potential customer at a trade show to sound forced that doesn’t mean you can’t be well read, a bit rehearsed and prepared. Know what’s going on in the cities that your company will be exhibiting in, keep up on the current events and news of that city. Ask about local restaurants, spots to visit or any sources or pride within the city makes for good, albeit a bit cheesy conversation starters. But they give you a chance to connect immediately and that’s extremely important.
3) Cross train roles: Many staffs include people with set roles at trade shows: staffers who handle different aspects or areas of the company or parts of a show. Some staffers handle running the demos, talking to potential leads, entering information, handing out swag or attending sessions. If everyone on your staff is cross trained to handle all of these positions in the way your company needs them executed, you can easily account for staff breaks and it can be a big help if things in your booth get busy.
4) Define how to qualify leads: Trade shows are hopefully pretty busy for your staff and your company spends a good amount of money to be at these events. Make sure your staffers are managing their time wisely and engaging with potentially qualified leads. Continue to redefine what your company looks for in a potential lead at trade shows by the questions your staffers should ask and the response they should be looking for.
5) Cover social media initiatives: You should be utilizing social media in some form or fashion at trade shows whether it’s a Facebook post, live tweeting or a live broadcast. Decide on the direction of your company’s social media presence and message during trade shows and be sure to review all social media policies as well.