No matter how much you spend to create an exhibition stand, the deciding factor in whether it will be successful will almost always be the staff you choose to take with you.
It may seem obvious which of your employees are best suited to exhibiting however there are a few essential qualities that may not have crossed your mind. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts for choosing which staff to bring to your exhibition:
First impressions are crucial anywhere in life, especially when you’re trying to bring people into your exhibit. This means that appearance is important to improving the effectiveness of your stand. Try not to bring along anyone who looks too young and too inexperienced with the industry, however bright they may be, visitors may be sceptical of their product knowledge. Don’t allow your staff to show up looking hung over or unclean either, in a face to face environment like exhibitions attendees will be put off from visiting your stand.
If you don’t have a uniform for your place of work it is advisable to organise a uniform for exhibitions that aligns with your company branding and helps all staff members to be easily identifiable. Smart or smart casual is recommended for exhibitions which means a branded polo shirt is acceptable and can be used for both male and female staff.
Make sure there is plenty for your staff to be doing, if things start to slow down you’ll regret bringing the extra staff members when everyone gets bored and uninterested. Bored looking staff is one the biggest reasons people will skip out on visiting your exhibit. If this happens make sure your staff are out in the crowds conversing with people and trying to bring in new leads as opposed to letting them come to you. Similarly huddling in groups makes visitors feel just as uncomfortable and unwelcome.
There is a fine line between staff members being engaging and being either passive or overly proactive, you want someone who sits just between the two. Look at how other exhibitor’s staff around you are acting and choose how you want your staff to come across based on this, for example if all of the other exhibitors are loud and too proactive it may be beneficial for you to provide a stand that offers a more relaxed and calm atmosphere as that may bring in more visitors.
Making sure staff have breaks to walk around and get a coffee and food every so often will allow them to stay refreshed and help them to keep up their positive attitude throughout the day. Staff who have worked for hours on end will start to feel drained before the day ends, discouraging people from visiting your stand.
Teach your staff about exhibition stand etiquette, everyone should know to always smile and make eye contact with visitors. Exhibition etiquette also includes, avoiding fidgeting, no crossed arms and no hands in pockets, turn off mobile phones, and ask open-ended questions to help build a rapport with the visitors – just be polite in general.
A common rule in the exhibition industry is the 80/20 rule which means that you should listen to prospects 80% of the time and speak for 20% of the time, this helps them to feel like they’re more in control and that you aren’t dominating the conversation.
Don’t rely too much on a predetermined script, this will come across to visitors as insincere. Wherever possible you should speak to visitors as naturally as you would anyone else, this will help them to feel like you are less like a robot and more invested into the conversation. On the other hand however a script can be helpful to greet attendees quickly and appropriately but from there you shouldn’t refer to a script for help. If there’s anything you don’t know the answer to, politely pass them on to a colleague who can answer their questions by saying something along the lines of “Sorry, that’s not my area of expertise, but my colleague here…”
It can also be a good idea to encourage questions and feedback at the end of a conversation with a visitor, this will help you to improve in the future and let you know if you’re doing anything wrong. Trying to generate leads at an exhibition is a delicate situation, being too pushy can scare people away whereas being too passive will lead to boredom. Encouraging your staff to be in between the two will increase your lead generation significantly.
We hope these tips will help you to excel at your next exhibition. At XL Displays we provide portable display solutions and custom built exhibition stands. For advice and more information on how we can help you prepare for your next event please Contact Us or call us on 01733 511030.