Developing Your Staffing Plan


Exhibit and event staffing is too often not given enough attention by exhibiting companies. Many companies simply do not spend enough time thinking about the best team members to staff the booth and attend in other roles. Staffing is critical because events are about in-person, face-to-face marketing. One of the main reasons that attendees and buyers travel so far to attend shows is to meet your key team members, executives and engineers — and compare your team with your competition. In short, attendees want to meet the people behind your brand.

A Red 7 Media survey of a wide cross-section of convention and exhibition attendees found that their top five actions taken with exhibitors at shows are to:

1.  See a product demonstration: 73% of attendees
2.  Talk to technical employees: 62%
3.  Talk to sales employees: 58%
4.  Ask for a price quote: 48%
5.  Attend an exhibitor’s special event: 48%

Additionally, 46% of the attendee survey respondents said they talk to senior management.

Here are key questions to ask when considering your staffing plans:

  • Who in your organization do attendees and buyers want to meet (product teams, technical and engineering staff, or senior executives)?
  • What level of engagement do key prospects and clients want with your teams at shows?
  • Do the booth staffers and all event participants clearly understand the company’s goals for the event?
  • Do your teams understand the significant opportunity to engage, sell and learn at events?
  • Do you have a plan for engaging with attendees and buyers off the show floor?
  • Does your team, even senior people, need booth staff training?

Providing exhibit staffers with the right products in the booth, information and demonstrations are key to successful exhibiting.

Additionally, booth staff need to know that attendees are busier and probably have a set agenda for the event and may not have as much time to spend in the exhibit. Exhibitors need to make an impression and add value faster. Make sure your staff have the skills to communicate your company story and product information quickly and concisely.

Finally, because the exhibiting environment is different than field interactions, training your staff on how to adapt their behaviors and communication skills to the environment can make a big difference in their performance and your results.

(Sources: Experient/Expo Magazine)