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Motivating Your Exhibition Staff

Posted By:

XL Displays


14 September 2015

Reading Time:

6 Mins

This news article is also featured in:

Exhibition Tips

Motivating Your Exhibition Staff

Getting your staff ready and exciting for an upcoming exhibition is the easy part, keeping up the morale hours into the exhibition is another challenge altogether, especially if you’re exhibiting for multiple days in a row. Thankfully there are plenty of ways to keep your staff enthusiastic throughout the day.


The best staff incentives encourage your team to work together as opposed to fighting one and other to receive the incentive. Commission is a common incentive used in the exhibition industry and is awarded to staff members for generating leads and can also be offered to the team as a whole to promote team work, for example if the team generates 100 new leads then they will each receive the same amount in commission.

Keeping Busy

Towards the end of the day it is inevitable that traffic to your stand will start to decrease causing your staff to become bored, this is the last thing you want however as bored staff will reduce the chances of you picking up a few last minute leads. No one wants to visit a stand where the staff are uninterested and so the few remaining attendees will be discouraged from engaging with your team.

One of the best ways to prevent this is when things start to slow down you can assign different jobs to members of your team, having their own new task should help to boost the morale just enough to get you through to the end of the day. If you’re exhibiting for more than one day then you can ask a few members of your team to prepare for the next day, this includes:

  • Keeping the stand tidy
  • Stocking up on giveaways
  • Stocking up on marketing literature e.g. flyers and business cards
  • Making sure product samples are readily available

Another way to keep your staff busy is asking them to sort through the data collected throughout the day, depending on how your company collects leads details this could include entering the information into a database or excel spreadsheet and categorising the leads into hot, warm and cold so that the staff following up after the exhibition can be more productive.

For more information on following up please see our ‘Post-Exhibition Follow up Guide

Finally, conducting competitor research is an excellent way to keep your staff busy while gaining valuable information on how your competitors are performing and how you can improve the quality of your exhibiting.

Introduce Goals and Objectives

Having something to work towards is a great way to motivate your staff and your goals can link in with your staff incentives, for example for completion of one of your goals you receive an incentive. Goals can be either personal or team based depending on your preference however team based goals may encourage your staff to work together in a similar way to team based objectives. This is beneficial for your exhibition as you don’t have staff fighting one and other to perform better and complete goals quicker.

The goals and objectives you decide on should be SMART which stands for Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Following this should help you to set more realistic goals that benefit the exhibition and your company more.

For more information on SMART Objectives please see our article ‘SMART Objectives for an Exhibition

Staff Training

Attending and working an exhibition can be a daunting task for staff member with no training, which can lead to them being demotivated. It is crucial that you provide sufficient training for all members of the exhibition team, including experienced trade show staff, before the day of the show. The reason you want to train everyone is because every exhibition is a different experience and you likely aren’t promoting the same things as you were last time, for example you may have a new product launching which will be the focus of your exhibition so everyone needs to be trained to use and talk about that product.

Some of the areas you should focus on when training employees includes:

  • Your main marketing objective
  • Potential issues that can arise and how to resolve them
  • Exhibition etiquette
  • New products that you are promoting
  • Exhibition itinerary e.g. presentations you are holding

Meeting Staff Needs

Meeting staff member’s basic needs is one of the easiest way to ensure you have happy and enthusiastic staff. To do this make sure you have plenty of water and snacks available throughout the day to keep them hydrated and refreshed. Regular breaks are also a necessity as exhibition can be on their feet for hours throughout the day, even 5 minute breaks to sit down for a drink can re-energise your staff. Make sure you have enough staff members working the exhibition to cover for the people on breaks, if this means hiring another employee to work the stand then it’s worth it to make sure everyone is properly looked after.

We hope these tips help you to keep your exhibition staff motivated and allow you to have a successful exhibition. At XL Displays we create, design and build pop up displays and exhibition stands that get you results.