Magazine article Marketing

CONFERENCES AND EXHIBITIONS: Staff Are Key to Stand Success - Exhibitors Must Use the Right Staff to Make an Impact

Magazine article Marketing

CONFERENCES AND EXHIBITIONS: Staff Are Key to Stand Success - Exhibitors Must Use the Right Staff to Make an Impact

Article excerpt

In order to get the most out of having a presence at an exhibition it is crucial that you have the right people on your stand. You could have the biggest, most impressive stand at the show, but your success will largely depend on your staff and how they interact with visitors.

Exhibition stand staff communicate a company's brand values face-to-face, so companies must ensure that they have the right people for the job.

Trevor Foley, director-general of the Association of Exhibition Organisers (AEO), argues that the choice of stand staff is the most important decision for exhibitors. 'It's the difference between attracting people to your stand and making a hash of it,' he says.

He adds that it is equally important to have someone in charge to make sure that staff are following the brief and that they are not eating, drinking, or using their mobiles while they are on the stand. This kind of inapp-ropriate activity can create a bad impression of a company and overshadow other, more positive, activities on the stand.

Employing the wrong kind of people to work on exhibition stands can have long-term consequences. 'The damage can be far more than the cost of your exhibiting investment. Industry perception of your company could take years to recover,' argues Foley.

Training is an effective way to ensure staff will represent your brand in the best way. The AEO runs training courses for company staff to teach them the necessary skills for working on an exhibition stand, such as customer service, communication and supervision skills. Some promotional staffing agencies also provide training for their clients' staff members in addition to hiring out personnel.

It may seem logical for a firm to use its own employees as company representatives on an exhibition stand because they know about the product and have bought into the company philosophy. But those people already have full-time jobs and may not be able to cancel commitments and take time out of the office to attend an exhibition - especially if it lasts for several days.

And there is no guarantee that manning an exhibition stand is one of the things that a firm's employees will be good at - not everyone performs well in an exhibition environment or feels comfortable talking to the public. The decision for exhibitors is whether they invest in training their own staff or hire promotional people from an agency.

Company objectives

Sue Petrie, managing director of promotional staffing agency Teamworks Russell says one of the benefits of hiring staff is that they are familiar with the exhibitions. 'The challenge,' she says, 'is to make the staff feel as much a part of the exhibiting company as possible so you don't see the break between employees and hired staff.'

Field marketing company Headcount provides staff for exhibitions and other promotional campaigns. Julia Collis, client services director, sales and marketing, says: 'If we don't understand the client's objective beforehand it will be a waste of money and effort. We need to understand the brand's philosophy, so if staff are asked a question that they haven't been briefed on they can still answer in a positive way.'

Promotional staffing firm The Exhibiting Agency can even provide exhibitors with celebrity look-a-like staff as a means of attracting visitors and ensuring that the company's message is noticed.

John Blaskey is managing consultant at the agency and has identified four key aspects of working on an exhibition stand: attracting people; rejecting timewasters; explaining about the client's product and philosophy; and setting up future business appointments or generating leads. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.