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Rena PattonMar 5, 2019 11:07:00 AM3 min read

Training Your Team for Your First Trade Show

A beautiful and well put-together booth is only going to get you so far. To really see success at your first trade show, you’ll need a stellar team, too — one that’s hard-working, sales-oriented and persuasive.

The most important step is enlisting the right team in the first place. Of course, you’ll want people well-versed in your products and services, but you’ll also want to consider disposition, sales ability, drive and attitude when making your staffing decisions.

  • How outgoing are they?

  • How persuasive can they be?

  • How hard will they work when setting up your booth, selling your services and networking with potential customers?

Once you’ve homed in on the ideal staffers for your event, it’s time to train them — well before your booth hits the expo floor.

Top Trade Show Training Tips

For best results, your training approach needs to be comprehensive, covering everything from grooming standards and booth set-up to sales pitching and networking methodologies. You should also consider divvying up duties and giving each team member an assignment at the event. This allows them to truly own their responsibilities and really brush up on the right skills for the job.

Try some of these tactics when training your staff:

Use Mock Scenarios To Practice Interacting With Booth Visitors

Head to a conference room with your team and go over a handful of possible interactions you might run into on the trade show floor. Have each team member play the visitor and the booth staff at least once so they get a feel for both sides of the experience. Make sure you’re keeping a close eye on friendliness, approachability, persuasiveness and overall knowledge of your products and services.

Practice Body Language

Body language plays a big role in how people perceive your team and the brand it represents. Have your staffers practice proper posture, strong handshakes and approachable stances (no crossed arms!). Your team needs to carry itself with confidence in order to instill trust in your brand. Consider watching this TED Talk on body language as a group for inspiration.

Set A Grooming Budget

It’s one thing to ask your staff to wear a smart suit or a pulled-together business casual outfit, but if you really want them on board with your grooming standards, give them a budget to work with. Better yet, give them a gift card to a retailer you know has appropriate clothing options and send them with a few recommendations.

Get Hands-On With Your Products

Schedule time for your booth team to really work and interact with the products they’ll be promoting at your event. Have them set up the products, operate them, tear them down and understand the possibilities and challenges that they present. If they’ll be conducting demos or presentations, make sure they practice these before a live audience.

Give Them Stress-Coping Techniques

Trade shows are fast-paced, days-long events that are often very stressful for those who work the floor. Work with your team to develop go-to stress-coping mechanisms that can keep them grounded and calm when anxieties get high. Breathing exercises, mindfulness apps and breaks for meditation can all help here.

Practice Booth Set Up & Break Down

If your team will be doing the booth set-up themselves, make sure to have a few run-throughs first. Have them practice unloading, assembling and putting together your booth pieces and displays, and make sure they know how the final product should look once it’s arranged.

When in doubt, use a professional trade show booth partner to setup and install your booth. This will eliminate potential errors and leave your staff to do what they do best — sell your products and services. Contact us today to learn more.