Trade Show Expectations From Your Employees

Five days in Vegas. Bliss, right? Spas, pools, shopping and let’s not forget… casinos. Oh yeah, there are trade shows, too. For some employees, when they hear “trade show” they immediately think “fun”…  but for all the wrong reasons. Because many of the best shows are often hosted in fabulous cities that scream fun, keeping employees focused on the real reason you are in town can be a challenge. And since we know trade shows are not cheap, it’s worth taking the time to whip (and keep) your employees in shape during your trade show trip.

A few helpful tips can aide you in this sometimes challenging task.

[tweetmeme]1. Set expectations.And make sure your expectations are met with routine check-ups on them. If your goal is to have everyone on site and in the booth prior to the trade show doors opening for buyers, then tell your team exactly what time you expect them there vs. “in the morning”. Be as specific as possible with all your expectations so that there are no mis-understanding.

2. Review professionalism standards. Some companies are okay with lunch at the booth and messy leftovers sitting out while customers are inquiring about products… others are not. What are your standards? Be very clear with your team about eating in the booth, taking breaks, dress code policies and more. Review these details prior to your trip, as well, so your employees can plan in advance. Sometimes having a snack in their purse can make all the difference between a hungry and grouchy associate vs. one is not starving and happily engaging with customers.

3. Play Pretend.Aka, role play. Often people just wing it when it comes to handling customer communication and booth traffic. Review scenarios with your team in advance to help avoid uncomfortable results later. Know who is responsible for specific customers, how to act with these customers and what to do in situations that may include a busy booth, customers waiting, a slow booth, a rude customer and more. Working together to plan for this also offers some fun employee relationship building.

At the end of the day… and more importantly, at the end of the show… you want to reflect back on successful time management, effective show prepartion and execution and promising sales made. Having expectations and clear priorities in place with your employees can help you achieve this.

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