Exhibitions are golden tickets to engaging directly with potential clients and showcasing the pinnacle of your company’s offerings. However, the success of these events largely rests on one critical factor: your staffing strategy. Research consistently highlights that attendee impressions are most deeply shaped by their interactions with booth staff. With a mere 1-2% of budgets typically allocated to staff training, as pointed out by the Centre for Exhibition Industry Research, it’s high time for a strategic pivot.

Here at Skyline Whitespace, we’re understand the importance of upholding a blend of expert staffing and strategic engagement to achieve results you aim to achieve at an exhibition. This guide is dedicated to illustrating the monumental impact that investing in staff training can have on your stand’s success.

Assemble your Super Team

At the heart of a successful exhibition is a team that radiates your brand’s ethos and energy. This goes beyond selecting individuals with mere sales acumen; it involves curating a group that collectively brings a dynamic mix of skills and personalities to the forefront. From charismatic salespeople who can captivate and converse with ease to technical experts who can delve deep into product specifics, every member plays a crucial role. Including customer success representatives and marketers can add layers of depth to interactions, providing a holistic view of your offerings.

When a prominent brand’s CEO personally appears at their exhibition booth, it’s more than support; it boosts the brand’s image and facilitates deep discussions on industry trends and future visions. This engagement enhances client and partner relationships, showcasing the impactful role of leadership presence.

Optimal Staffing for Peak Engagement

Striking the right balance in staff numbers is key — too few and you risk missed opportunities; too many and you might put off visitors. Adhering to the industry recommendation of one staff member per 50 sq ft and utilising data from past exhibitions to predict visitor flow helps in setting concrete goals for lead generation, engagement, and conversions.

Calculate the total staff hours and target interactions per hour to ensure your team can effectively engage with the anticipated number of attendees. If they chat with three to five guests every hour, that’s a good range – three is more relaxed, four is balanced, and five is really busy.

This analytic approach ensures your booth is neither understaffed nor overcrowded, creating an inviting atmosphere for meaningful conversations.

Uniform Messaging and Training

Aligning your team under the same banner is crucial. A pre-show briefing, ideally steered by a seasoned team member, should tackle the event’s decorum, corporate aims, key messages, and management’s dedication to success. Role-playing varied visitor interactions primes your team for confident and effective engagement. For example, a firm specialising in eco-friendly packaging might practise addressing common misconceptions about biodegradable materials.

Acknowledging the team’s hard work, clarifying roles, and discussing event specifics, including VIP protocols and giveaway policies, are also key. Tips on badge placement for easy identification can smooth the wheels of interaction. With emphasis on digital engagement through AR, VR, and 360° videos, equipping your team to utilise these technologies can vastly enhance visitor experiences.

Beyond the Sales Pitch

True engagement lies at the heart of exhibition success. Encouraging your team to build authentic connections with visitors through open-ended questions and active listening shifts the dynamic from selling to solving. This not only crafts a memorable and positive experience for potential clients but also begins the interaction with a meaningful dialogue. A wellness company, for instance, might train its staff to inquire, “What’s your biggest wellness challenge at the moment?” inviting personal and pertinent conversation.

Post-Show Tactics and Follow-Up

The investment in your exhibition team extends beyond the event. A structured debrief and follow-up plan ensures that the insights and momentum gained during the show are maximised. Motivating your team to share their experiences and suggestions feeds into refining future strategies and bolstering overall performance.

Bottom Line!

At Skyline Whitespace, we’re not just about stands that catch the eye; we’re about creating experiences that capture hearts and minds. Recognising that 85% of an exhibitor’s success is predicated on staff performance accentuates the importance of strategic staffing. By focusing on putting together a diverse, talented team, promoting a unified brand message, and prioritising genuine visitor engagement, companies can propel their exhibition success to unprecedented levels.

Where every interaction matters, transforming your staffing strategy from good to extraordinary can make all the difference.