Trade Show staff are a unique type of talent. They engage specific audiences and need to be a higher level of brand ambassador. Unlike engagements that occur at festivals, malls, and sporting events, tradeshow attendees are already choosing to attend a gathering of a topic with which they are intimately familiar. People look to trade show brand ambassadors and booth representatives to guide them in high-level discussions on products, services, or specific details of the event itself. Even if you are hiring the most experienced trade show representatives, you’ll still want to be sure to provide proper training at every event.
Here are Productions Plus’s top 6 training tips for a successful tradeshow team:
A certified trainer knows how to customize training for any topic/brand, and for any venue where a show is being activated. They should lead with consistent energy and enthusiasm, giving talent a great representation of the high level of smiles and service expected throughout the event. They should work along with your team to ensure that everything from customer service, attendee engagement, data collection, brand knowledge, and history, and event highlights will be covered with talent on-site. If you are wondering where to find such a liaison, good news! We have certified training facilitators on staff!
2. Train at the Venue, Whenever Possible
Face to face, in-person training is always best. Not only do you get to know your talent on a more personal level, but they also get to know you, the brand, and the venue they will be working on a more personal level. In-person gatherings are much more effective for testing your talent’s knowledge and making sure they have time to do walk-throughs of the trade show floor. No matter what your trade show topic or theme, inevitably the talent will end up being asked for directions at least half of the time. Having this event knowledge can help them build trust and authority with your attendees that can parlay into higher level conversations.
3. Give Talent Brand Knowledge
Any type of trade show representative needs to know about your company. Even if you are just hiring “directional” staff, it’s important that they understand convention goals and brands & consumers in attendance. Sharing the history, core values, and goals of your show or brand provide a brand ambassador with a more intimate look behind the scenes. This results in them becoming more invested in the tradeshow and it’s overall messaging. It also helps them create more meaningful connections with attendees.
4. Focus on Team Building
Trade Shows often have long days filled with high energy for brand ambassadors and booth hosts. Making time to encourage team building at training will help your talent go the extra mile. They’ll show up on the first day of the show with existing relationships that they can build upon during the run of your event. Trust and communication in their fellow team members can help fight fatigue during long hours. A good trainer should come with ready-made icebreakers and team building activities for the group. (hint: the internet also has tons of wonderful recommendations!)
If your tradeshow or event requires talent to have a deeper level of knowledge, consider sending out an informational packet or 1-sheet prior to their training day. A formal quiz can be sent via email or done in-person to ensure the team is ready, and answers should be reviewed as a group (another good aspect of team building). Even better results come from turning this quiz into a game show and allowing talent to win small prizes (gift cards are great!) for correct answers. We’ve even seen trainers take this a step further and have talent act out skits based on key learnings or consumer interaction modules. This type of “testing” helps everyone engage with the material and learn by interacting in a more engaging fashion.
6. Schedule Time for Leadership
All good teams have strong leaders. On a tradeshow floor, you should have specific talent hired to act as Team Leads or Supervisors to provide guidance for your talent. It’s important to plan time to meet with these selected individuals to discuss your expectations and trade show goals. They should be familiar with the venue and your key event messages. They need to be fully trained and empowered by you and your brand so they can in-turn motivate and encouraging the entire team. These scenarios demand a lead-by-example approach while giving direction in a positive manner. Meeting with your team leads to ensure shared goals are understood is paramount so the group can come together to deliver the best-combined results. Make sure your supervisors are aware of breaks and what the State laws and regulations may come into play. Be sure to discuss everything, including your preference of how certain issues are handled and communicated, and what your escalation plan may be, if necessary.
We are the event training professionals!
For our tradeshow and event staffing, Productions Plus always offers the ability to assist clients and create unique training for specific events and venues. We are well-versed in convention centers nationwide, and our certified trainers can be brought in to teach in-depth product knowledge, customer service, lead generation, event metrics, and the highest levels of consumer engagement.
Contact us to learn more about our customized training.