It's easy to get caught up in the logistics of planning for a trade show. In the midst of ordering space, designing the booth and shipping freight, have you neglected the number one key to your onsite success?

We're talking about people. During the trade show, booth staff are responsible for attracting visitors to the booth, managing the visitor experience, qualifying leads, creating actionable next steps and personifying your brand.

Essentially, without the right staff, a trade show could go from a profitable investment to an expensive appearance.

Jefferson Davis, exhibitor consultant/trainer and president of Competitive Edge, offers three guidelines for effective trade show staffing:

  • Have enough staff. Understaffing (or overstaffing) your trade show booth are both fatal. Davis recommends 50 square feet per staffer.
  • Think about the mix of staff. Product managers, technical experts, marketing, sales, customer service and executive staff all should have windows of time spent in the booth being paired up with customers.
  • Provide skills training. A trade show booth is your brand space, not your office space. Train your staff on responses to frequently asked questions, appropriate booth behavior and how to measure success.

With your staff ready for the challenge, you will have a more productive and profitable trade show experience, while simultaneously meeting the trade show attendee's needs.

Jefferson Davis presented the session "Best People Forward: How to Prepare Your Booth Staff for Peak Performance" at the August 23 CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE Exhibitor Meeting in Chicago. To view the full presentation, visit the CONEXPO-CON/AGG website.