When planning for a trade show, some companies focus most of their efforts on getting people to their booth rather than on what happens once they get there. As a result, event team training often becomes an afterthought for many exhibitors, resulting in noticeable impacts when navigating through a busy show. However, staff training must be prioritized to ensure a trade shows success. Though many companies have exceptional sales representatives, they may need to gain the necessary skills to efficiently manage an exhibit.
Trade shows can be overwhelming, with a lot of competition and noise. Therefore, your team must be well-prepared and well-trained to stand out and make a lasting impression on the audience and attendees. This blog discusses the steps to train your team for trade show success.
1. Educate your team on trade show goals and objectives.
The first step in getting your team trained for a trade show is to educate them on the goals and objectives. What do you hope to achieve by attending the trade show? Some common trade show goals are:
- Generate leads
- Increase brand awareness
- Showcase new products
- Meet with potential partners
These trade show goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Examples of SMART goals for a trade show might include:
- Generate 100 conversion-ready leads
- Secure 20 face-to-face meetings with prospects during the trade show
- Increase website visits by 15%
Setting clear trade show goals will help focus your team and ensure that everyone is working towards the same objectives. It's also important to communicate these goals to your team and ensure everyone understands their role in achieving them.
2. Establish your booth strategy.
Once you have your goals clearly defined, it is essential to establish how your sales team will reach them. Establishing a successful trade show booth strategy is vital for several reasons:
- Consistency: We're talking about more than just having matching shirts. You want to ensure everyone in the trade show booth is on the same page and delivers a consistent message to attendees. Be sure to formulate the details of your in-booth demos, activations, and contests and how you want these presented to the attendees.
- Efficiency: Trade shows are busy, and you want to maximize everyone's time at the event and ensure that they are engaging with the right people and delivering the correct information. You'll want to train your team on best practices when booth traffic is slow and slammed.
- Effectiveness: With a clear and effective in-booth trade show strategy, your team will be better equipped to engage with attendees and achieve your objectives. Check out our guide, Build A Better Trade Show Strategy in 5 Simple Steps.
3. Train the team on the lead capture system.
Trade shows can utilize many lead capture systems, which can cause frustration and inconsistency for booth reps. The first step in getting your team trained for success with lead capture solutions is to select the right solution for your needs. Many different lead capture solutions are available, and choosing one that fits your specific requirements is essential. Learn more about which solution is right for your company and your team by reading our Trade Show Lead Capture Shopping Guide.
Once you've selected a trade show lead capture solution, the next step is to ensure that your team is trained to use it effectively. Training your team on lead capture solutions should start before the trade show. You should provide them with comprehensive training on using the solution and how it fits into your strategy.
How we train our clients:
At iCapture, we like to ensure that all of our clients are experts with our lead capture solution, which is why we provide training before their first event. The steps that we walk our clients through are:
- Downloading the app on their personal device
- Installing their lead form and testing it
- How to capture the conversation - making sure everyone is familiar with the questions on the lead form
- Capturing a lead in the app
4. Establish a post-event game plan.
The trade show doesn't end when the event is over. Training your team on the post-event game plan ensures everyone can follow up with leads and maximize your trade show experience. This training should include prioritizing leads, personalizing follow-up messages, and setting follow-up appointments. If you use a lead capture system integrated into your CRM, you'll want to train the team on how the lead automation is set up and their role.
5. Emphasize the Importance Of Booth Etiquette
Booth etiquette may seem like common sense, but it is extremely important. In many occasions, your booth is the first impression that people have on your business. Nothing screams "I don't want to be here" than people sitting in their booths on their phones. So what topics of etiquette should you discuss with your team?
- Body language is extremely important. Make sure your booth reps are standing on the edges of the booth with a smile on their face. Try to make eye contact with attendees as they walk by, even if they don't stop at the booth
- If you're not engaged, don't be in the booth. We know there are times that you need to check your email, or grab a bite to eat! Make sure to do these activities outside of the booth.
Trade shows are an awesome way to support your company’s marketing efforts, create, and drive sales. But remember that you’re only as good as your team is. No matter how amazing your booth is, it can’t pick up the slack if your team is under-prepared. Make sure they’re well-trained, highly motivated, and ready to succeed.