simply.staffing: 6 Steps to Success

Megan Wells | March 21, 2017

mg has just returned from ExhibitorLIVE 2017, where we encouraged exhibit planners and marketers to simplify the often-turbulent world of trade show and event marketing. Our success on the show floor and beyond can be attributed to many factors. But as our resident in-house staffing strategist and coach, I know what CEIR data tells us: 85% of success comes from the quality of the on-site team.

And I’m proud to say, my team and I strongly influenced great outcomes through our staffing strategy. In the process, we won Exhibitor’s Best Booth Staff recognition for simply mg™. But more importantly, our preparations ensured an outstanding experience for our guests. When the rubber meets the road, isn’t that what matters most?

How can you apply our learnings at your next event?

  • Start early. Staffing plays an integral role in every aspect of your exhibit experience – from designing your architecture and mapping out your engagement to building pre- and at-show buzz and post-show follow-up. How will your team members interact with the space and your guests? What tools do they need to properly represent your business and your brands?
  • Select carefully. Appreciate the unique flavor of the show floor and pick team members who will thrive. Subject matter expertise is critical, but so are communication skills and attitude. What internal talent can bridge the gap and ensure a great visitor experience? How complex is your story? Do you need to supplement internal resources with hired brand ambassadors? Booth staffing is not a decision to be taken lightly. Your power is truly in your people.
  • Prepare properly. Our team began gathering months before the event and those meetings extended to the show floor itself. Our goal was to align expectations so everyone understood his or her role in the overall engagement strategy. We also included practical best-practice elements so every interaction would be personal yet consistent and entirely guest-focused. What is the best way to engage/disengage visitors? What is the dress code for each day of the show? Should you ever eat, drink or socialize with other team members in the booth?
  • Schedule strategically. Understanding the peak hours for show floor traffic as well as the length of time anticipated with each lead helps tremendously in ensuring adequate coverage for your exhibit. At the same time, human beings need to take periodic breaks to maintain performance. How will breaks and meals be managed? What happens if an emergency arises?
  • Debrief thoroughly. Your event does not exist in a bubble. The relationships that start on the show floor strongly influence the progression of the relationship you are trying to develop. How and when will the team come together to discuss challenges and opportunities they have experienced? What recommendations can your staff make to improve your next show or event?
  • Follow up promptly. Whether you’ve collected business cards in a fishbowl or entered data in an electronic system, lead management does not end with capturing data. How you manage that information on the back end is critical in moving your hot lead through the sales funnel. How will leads be managed post-show? Who will be following up? How will this be accomplished?

Your staff will influence success more than any other single element of your strategy. Make sure you seek the input of your exhibit marketing partner to take your already great staff to the next level!

To add some simple inspiration to your current program, contact your mg account director today.