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How a Well Trained Exhibit Staff Delivers Positive Results and Measurable Outcomes

March 3, 2014 By Editor

by Ed Jones

You have heard it repeated that your exhibit staff accounts for roughly 80% of your success as an exhibitor. But what are the actual accomplishments that result from a well-trained staff? These outcomes provide not only a measurement set but also a serve as a planning guide for your staff training. Well-conceived staff orientation and training lead directly to increased quality and effectiveness of the following goals:

High-Value Contact Engagement

  • More engagements with the correct targeted participants. Applicable measures: percentage of engagements/visitors and total number of engagements.
  • More agreement for follow-up activities. Applicable measures: number of leads, number of contacts added to marketing database, improvements in relationship maturity, etc.
  • More sales-ready prospects delivered into the sales pipeline or funnel. Applicable measures: number of qualified leads (that are acceptable to sales), number of goal conversions, etc.
  • More meetings with better focus on business accomplishments. Applicable measures: number of meetings, number of meeting-related follow-up commitments
  • Significant cost savings/expense avoidance. Applicable measures: total future travel and facilities cost avoidance through meetings

Marketing Communication

  • A well-trained exhibit staff provides a consistent “story,” told in its intended context
  • Messaging, branding, and marketing themes are more clearly and consistently communicated. Applicable measures: changes or accomplishments in awareness, message or information recall, shifts in preferences such as brand and purchase intent related to measurement

Presentations, Demonstrations, and Product Showcasing

Presentations and interactive demos are large expenses upfront, but significant effectiveness and cost savings may results. As you have probably already concluded, how well the staff learns to utilize these tools will determine the payback on the investment! Interactive demonstration and presentation technology present huge opportunities to improve results.

  • Increased number and effectiveness of demonstrations and presentations. Applicable measures: number of demos and presentations, the number of participants in same, participant ratings of presentations and demonstrations value, changes in awareness, recall, preferences, and intent
  • Decrease in number and cost of future field sales calls. Applicable measures: Number of targeted visitors who receive a sales call equivalent, number of appointments or follow-up actions
  • Improvement in probability of sale for conditioned prospects. Applicable measures: ratings of “sales readiness”

Customer Relationship Management

  •  Increased Customer Retention. Applicable measures: number of current customers seen at event, amount of current revenue addressable at event, documented “saves” as a result of event interaction
  • Cross-Sell and Up-sell Opportunities. Applicable measures: Number and type of up-sell, cross-sell transactions as a result of the event or at the event

Additional Staff Related Accomplishments

Exhibit staff can be trained on other practices and procedures such as:

  • Protecting competitive intelligence
  • Gathering competitive intelligence
  • Other business improvement and recruitment interactions with valuable contacts such as suppliers, channels, press, and others

These accomplishments and their measures represent just a few of the many ways you can substantiate the time and cost of training your staff to be effective at every event.

A common concern echoed among many exhibit managers is, “Our salespeople are so experienced and expert they will not accept or participate in exhibit staff training.” In practice, well-conceived training is most often praised by top-level salespeople and sales executives. They recognize that working from an exhibit is not the same as making a personal visit or even a phone call where participants and facts are known beforehand.

When asked to comment about pre-show staff training impact, a senior business development executive of a major international company recently responded, “{Staff} training added significant value to trade show participation and resulted in real opportunity identification and follow-up. The training and approaches for better use of the available displays result in even the most experienced business development professional learning something new about customer interaction and setting the stage for winning profitable new business.”

Use this guide not only to plan your staff training, but also to justify the expense in qualitative and quantitative terms. An effectively trained exhibit staff obtains results that you can prove and allows you, the event manager, to be seen as a manager of the company’s business!


This article first appeared on Constellation Communications Blog. Republished with permission.

 








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