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Staffing Your Trade Show Booth For Ultimate Goal Achievement

Jules Sowder

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Your trade show booth team is pivotal to maximizing your event success. How you select, train and schedule your exhibit booth staff will often determine whether you attain or fall short of achieve your exhibiting goals.

Booth Staff Selection:

Trade show booth representatives carry the responsibility for greeting and pre-qualifying your exhibit visitors, establishing relationships that convert prospects into leads and then into buyers - and personify your product's quality and image.

Therefore, always staff your exhibit display area with the best and the brightest from your company. Your team should be comprised of top employees who deeply believe in your product, have superior customer service skills, evoke professionalism, and fully understand your objectives.


Set aside some specific training time in the weeks leading up to the show. Begin training by sharing what will be expected of trade show personnel and the specific outcomes you want to achieve from event participation.

Ensure your trade show exhibit team has in-depth knowledge of your product or service by reviewing product/service data, customer feedback surveys, advertising materials, and market trend information.

Develop a thirty-second script or “elevator speech" that describes your product features and benefits. Then have everyone rehearse it so all team members can consistently, effectively and effortlessly talk about your product, explain how it helps and serves users, and discuss why it is better than others available on the market today.

Before departing for the show, review details including how to dress, when to arrive, booth scheduling, and trade show etiquette (i. e. no eating, drinking, phone calls, sitting, etc. while working in the booth).

Trade Show Staff Scheduling:

Identifying staffing needs correlates to the size of your display area, relevancy of the audience attending, and type of event in which you are participating. To determine the number of team members you need in your booth at a given time, consider use the following formula as a guide.

  1. Ask the event coordinator for an estimate of the number of people expected to visit the exhibition area during the event.
  2. Multiply the number of forecasted exhibition hall visitors by 15 to 20 percent, with 15% being a more conservative approach.
  3. Multiply the new number by 50%, if the event in which you are exhibiting is more general in nature and will attract a wider range of attendees. Use a multiplication factor between 35 and 40 percent if the show is highly targeted to your specific audience.
  4. Divide the number from step 3 above by the total hours your booth will be open to determine how many people will potentially visit your booth every hour. From there, consider the number of contacts or demonstrations you think your personnel can effectively handle in a 60 minute span of time.

This approach should provide you with direction on determining effective staffing levels. Of course, there are other factors that include the strength of various team members, location of your exhibit in the exhibition hall, and expected busy times at the show relative to other event activities.

This article was written by Jules Sowder, an executive marketing advisor with 20 years of experience developing strategic marketing solutions for large corporations, start-up companies, and small businesses. For more information, visit her web site at - In addition, Jules has an online resource to help trade show exhibitors maximize success:


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