When you are preparing for a trade show, you may think that having more people on your team will automatically make the show more successful. If you have a small team, you may think that your lower staffing numbers actually put you at a disadvantage. Thankfully, you can run a trade show booth effectively with a small team as long as you plan appropriately.

Here are some tips to make a trade show go as effectively as possible, even if you have a small team.


The key to a successful trade show experience is having staff who make a great first impression. Here’s what you should look for:

  • Friendly, personable people
  • Knowledgeable about your business
  • Helpful when customers need help
  • Easy to talk to and start a conversation with
  • Excited about what you offer

Even if you only have a handful of employees that fit this description, you can pull off a successful trade show. The number of people running the booth is less important than the quality of the people, and these characteristics mean you have a high-quality team ready to help.

2. Train Your Staff

Next, take some time to train your staff on the best practices for a quality trade show experience. Even the friendliest, easiest-to-talk-to person who has a lot of enthusiasm isn’t going to portray your business properly if they aren't trained.

Teach your staff how to enhance the showgoer experience. They should know how to be friendly and engaging without being pushy. Give them phrases to use when talking to people and teach them how to use your marketing materials. You will also need to train your staff on how to set up, tear down, and store your trade show booth materials safely. Have some practice run-throughs at your own location, if possible.


In addition to your staff, having an eye-catching booth design is important. Even a small team, with professional help, can design a booth that will attract attention. An exhibit house is a key factor in making your booth design work to attract people to your business.

The right booth design will also make it easier for a small team to set up and tear down, which is an important factor when you have fewer staff to work with. Again, this is where an experienced exhibit house can work with you to create a professional design that's not only eye-catching, but also easy to manage as well.


4. Keep the Booth Staffed

At the event, make sure you have enough people on hand so that someone is always at the booth, even if one team member has to leave for a personal reason. It’s ideal to have enough people that every guest has a quick greeting, a precise sales pitch, and someone to guide them through the steps toward becoming a client or making a purchase, if you can have enough people.

At bare minimum, the booth must be staffed at all times, and it’s not reasonable to think that your staff won't need to take a lunch break, so this means at least two people at the booth at all times.


5. Get Professional Help

You can run an effective trade show booth from start to finish with a small team. Having a professionally-designed booth is a key component of this process. Exhibit Options will help you with an amazing trade show build. We can also walk you through the day-of-show strategies that will help you make the most out of your quality staff members, rather than focusing on having a large quantity of staff members available.

Reach out to Exhibit Options today to learn more about our trade show booth design services, and let our team help you maximize the people you have for a winning trade show experience.