Many companies have a dedicated trade show team that exhibits at events, exhibitions or congresses. But are they the best people to send to every show? The Akkroo team spend a lot of time visiting trade shows and exhibitions, so today we’re sharing what makes a top team at an event.
High energy levels are a must-have for anyone who’s going to be on your stand at an event. You need to know that if a great-fit prospect walks up to your stand ten minutes before the show is due to close, they’ll get just as much attention and enthusiasm from your reps as if they’d come by mid-morning.
It’s not unusual for us to walk around trade shows and see teams of exhibitors sat on the sofa at their stand, chatting amongst themselves or tapping away on their phones while prospects try – and fail – to start a conversation with them.
You need people on your stand who will be brave enough to say hello to passing attendees, and draw them naturally into a conversation.
This is something we discuss in more detail in The Big Event podcast:
Willing to listen
A pushy salesperson is likely to be a turn-off for many attendees. Even if they’re really interested in your product, they’re not going to be in a position to buy from you right there on the trade show floor.
Instead of pushing your business agenda and talking solely about your product, your team should focus on listening to each prospect, and understanding their challenges or questions. This will mean you can really personalise the follow-up communication after the show, and build a good rapport with that prospect right from the start of your business relationship.
Know your stuff
If your company offers a wide range of products, it’s no good having a team on your stand who only knows about a fraction of your offering. If you’re unable to answer even simple questions about some of your products, it won’t make a good impression on attendees.
While it’s natural for people to be more knowledgeable in some areas than others, it’s essential that everyone has a broad understanding of what you offer, with no big knowledge gaps.
As well as taking the time to swot up on your product information, it’s also a good idea for your events team to work on their elevator pitch. This will help everyone on your stand know how to introduce your company to prospects.
Have a mix of roles on your trade show team
Your salespeople may be the obvious choice to make-up your events team, as they spend so much time speaking to people about your products. But there are other people across your organisation who could be a great fit for some shows and events.
Attendees will naturally prefer to speak with exhibitors who have something in common with them. For example, as a marketer I prefer speaking to exhibitors who also work in marketing, as we have a shared understanding about my work goals and challenges, that I would need to work harder to communicate with a salesperson or other team member.
It’s also worth finding time for senior team members to attend events – even if just for an hour or two each day. If a prospect specifically wants to speak with a more senior executive, they can make an appointment within that time slot.
Choose people who are a good fit for the show
Take some time to consider who will be attending the show. For example, if you’re exhibiting at a marketing technology exhibition, the majority of attendees will be marketers, so it might be better to send people from your marketing team. They will likely have more in common with, and have a better understanding of, the event attendees.
Remember: you don’t need to send the same people to every event – and your best salespeople aren’t always the best people to have on your stand.
The right people at the right time
The people you have on your stand can make or break the success of an event. It’s probably the most important decision to make in the run-up to an event, because events are the only opportunity you have to get one-on-one face time with prospects. Take the time to consider who’s the best fit for your exhibition, so you’ve got the best people in place to make the most of each event.