Let′s be honest: the thought of getting away from your desk for one, two, or even three days is an exciting proposition. No email, no telephone calls, no deadlines. Just enjoying the excitement and commotion of another trade show in a new city. What could be more perfect?
Well, the percentage of people who feel jazzed and excited about a trade show is parallel to mowing your lawn in 100?+ day. So then what′s the remedy to getting your team excited, and happy to be your company′s ambassador at a trade show? Here are 5 tips to prepare your team to rock the show like a good 80s cover band.
People are driven and motivated by various things. Money, gifts, perks, time off work, and even awards are all things that drive employees to excellence in the work place. If you can′t afford to “pay off” your workers to do their job, then try and think outside of the corporate box. Studies show that a good percentage of people are driven by verbal affirmation from a boss more than they are by money. Taking that extra minute to recognize an employee can go a long way when you need them in a pinch.
If there is something people hate, it is being uninformed. How many times have you been in a situation and someone asked an important question, and lo and behold, you didn′t know the answer? This happens all too many times, for various reasons. Try to collect all of the information you need your team to know well in advance before the show; perhaps a morning breakfast meeting on your tab, or even a relaxed meeting in the conference room with doughnuts. Either way, make sure you get the team ready with the information they need on the floor.
“Where is the duct tape?” “Do you have a sharpie?” “I need a power strip!” Don′t leave your team to fend for themselves 30 minutes before the doors open. Take extra steps to think through exactly what they will need before they leave the office for a teary goodbye. A good idea is to have a “Trade Show Tools Kit.” Include scissors, masking-scotch-duct tape, extension cords, power strips, pens, pencils, paper, stapler, and any other things you might think necessary.
The people you send to a show are going to be the faces for your company and its beliefs and core values. Don′t send someone who you think will taint the image you want to project of your company. However, don′t pick people who are all alike. Create a hodge-podge style team of personality, humor, skill, intelligence and other characteristics that can speak to all sorts of trade-show attendees. Remember, there will be many different people who are coming up to your booth—try and estimate what people within your own company could speak to the masses.
Who said fun wasn′t allowed at work? Granted, too much fun on the job decreases productivity. There is a balance that can be maintained. It has been said that in order to gain new business, that if you sell yourself, your products and services will take care of themselves. Enjoy yourself on the floor!
Logan Hartline is a senior graphic design major at Lipscomb University. Creativity, productivity, and passion for art have spelled success in the form of several honors including the Robert M. Neal Scholarship for Fine Arts, the Lipscomb University Art Department Scholarship, and a dynamic marketing internship with Advent. Advent exists atop a rapidly expanding experiential marketing field and helps companies communicate the essence of their brand through engaging exhibits, environments, and events. For more information, visit adventexhibits.com.
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