A trade show can be a grueling experience. In most situations, staff will need to stand for hours on end, much of that time talking or waiting. They must stay ever vigilant, able to instantaneously put on a smile and cheerfully explain your product, service or brand to curious attendees. You can make your trade show exhibit designs as eye-catching and impressive as possible, but if the people who are staffing the trade show exhibit are tired, bored or unhappy, they are unlikely to represent your company’s image and brand in the way you would like. So, it’s important to make sure that your exhibit staff are well-rested and ready to help explain your exhibit to attendees.
There are a few obvious ways to make sure that staff is ready to go and positioned to best display your brand and your company. First, it is important that everyone gets a good night’s rest and eats a good breakfast in the morning. This means potentially skipping (or supplementing) the continental breakfast, to get something with more protein and nutritional value (like eggs or ham) and the fuel that’s needed for a long day of staffing the trade show exhibit.
It’s also important to ensure that staff has enough time to do the exhibit set up ahead of time. Allow a full day in most cases. It may pay off to get assistance with exhibit set up, so that staff isn’t spending a whole day rushing to set up the booth, stressing out over the inevitable issues and then getting to bed late and only after a few drinks to calm the nerves (another protip: avoid the alcohol the day before, it dehydrates and makes sleep less restful). A crew that has been stressing out over exhibit set up the day before will be less likely to provide a trade show performance that well represents your company and brand. Remember, staff will be putting on a show for curious attendees, potential clients or customers and the media. You really want them at the top of their game.
For the day of the show, it is important to have enough staff so that everyone can take regular breaks (at least every 3 or 4 hours or so). Since, they will be standing for much of the time and performing for people, trade show exhibiting can take a lot out of people and regular breaks ensure that staff stays refreshed, attentive and on top of their game. Make sure there is water on hand, so that everyone stays hydrated. Ideally you would also have some seating at the booth so that people can get some time off their feet even in between taking breaks away from the booth.
Often times in the run up to a big show, everyone is so busy designing visuals and creating an intricate exhibit to draw the eyes of attendees that they totally forget about the staff. However, unless your next trade show exhibition will be run by robots, you do this at your own peril! Take a step back and make sure that your trade show staff is prepared to ensure success at your next show.
(photo by ThinkGeoEnergy via Flickr)