Staffing Your Exhibit in the Digital Age
The definition of a “perfect staffer” is changing all the time. Trade shows are changing just as quickly – if you look at an industry event from 1950 it may seem similar on the surface to a show in 2017, but the entire foundation has been torn down and rebuilt on the back of modern technology several times.
Because of this, finding the right people to staff your exhibit becomes an invaluable way to stay relevant. Think about what today’s definition of that position really looks like. To get started, these two exhibit staffing tips for the digital age are ones you'll want to keep in mind.
Select Media-Savvy Staffers
According to a study conducted by AdWeek, the right social media campaign can almost double the marketing leads that trade shows generate. A separate study revealed that 88% of all professionals in the United States use social media to increase awareness about these very same types of events.
Stats like these reveal that an important exhibit staffing strategy is to start looking at the built-in social media participation that your team has. If you're scheduling first-time booth staffers or are hiring temps, pay attention to how social media savvy they really are. Having someone who not only knows how to work an exhibit but can also provide a social media skill set can be a very valuable addition to your team. Millennial staffers already have digital devices and the Internet in their DNA, so take advantage of their inherent expertise.
Enroll People To Help When Things Go Wrong
Another important thing to focus on is how to get things back up and running again when things go digitally off the track.
Whether it's custom surveys, quizzes or games, video walls, Internet connections or wireless communications among the booth staffers, you need to plan for every eventuality including goofs, hiccups and just plain crashes.
If you are lucky enough to have a tech on your booth staff or a supplier at the show who will be available, have them shcek in at the beginning of the show day and before you have scheduled big demos. Be sure you have their cell phone or pager numbers — just in case.
If you are on your own at the show, then make arrangements with your IT support back at the office to be familiar with your tech requirements and your show schedule and to be on call. Be sure your have their cell numbers as well. If things go wrong, you want to be back up and fast. Every moment that your tech-powered exhibit is on the fritz, you're not collecting leads, making contacts, sharing information and closing deals.
With digital dependent exhibits, you need people with digital backgrounds as versatile and as robust as their “real life” ones. Taking advantage of the digital skills of your staff and aligning tech support can keep your exhibit up and running and your message in front of your prospects.