Staffing your company’s display at a show is hard work and staying motivated can often be a real challenge. What are you doing to ensure you have the right staff selected to work at the show? Here are some ideas for you.
1. Select people who want to be there
The key ingredient for anyone to be motivated to work a show is simple: they need to want to be there. All too often employees are told by management to “just show up” to work a particular show. However, given a choice, they would often prefer not to. Let the employee know what role they play in the overall success of the show in lead generation, presentations or just being part of the overall team.
2. Leave negative attitudes behind
Sales people frequently feel that working a display stand interferes with their normal selling routine. When employees have a negative attitude about being at a show, their body language lets everyone around know they feel “this is a futile and unimportant exercise.” Remember, 82% of what we say is interpreted by our body language more than what the spoken word is.
3. Realize everyone is an ambassador
Remember that everyone representing your company is an ambassador. By being helpful, courteous and having a professional demeanor, they can strengthen the company’s image and gain new customers. Choose your team carefully based on its excellent knowledge of the company’s products and services and the many customers and prospects whom you expect to visit the stand.
4. Encourage personal goals
Each staff member should have at least one personal goal they want to achieve. This increases accountability, changes unproductive habits, increases productivity and also builds motivation. At pre-show meetings, staff should be encouraged to share their goals with other staff members. Encourage contests for quality leads collected. At post-show or debriefing meetings, they should report on their achievements and be sure to have a metrics plan in place.
5. Get top management support
When top management are supportive of the company’s trade show activities and demonstrate their feelings by attending the show, helping in the booth space, taking part in training sessions and pre-and post-show activities, their enthusiasm is contagious.
6. Keep the team informed
A critical element of motivational success is letting the team know what is expected of them at the show and then providing any training necessary for them to do their job effectively. Successful people aren’t born…they’re trained. Not having the proper training can cause your company to lose a potentially valuable sale.
7. Create a positive, fun and reinforcing environment
It is management’s responsibility to create a positive, fun and reinforcing environment and to realize that it takes more than an incentive to succeed. Rewards and personal recognition provide an effective way of encouraging higher levels of performance. It does not have to cost a lot, but it is the thought and the recognition that maters.
8. Know your staff
Managers need to know their individual staff members and what motivates them. Studies show that more people are motivated by personal recognition than by money. The power of recognition and appreciation can create a more positive, productive and enjoyable environment while working a show. Determine what motivates your staff personally.
9. Team spirit
Everyone should be working together as a team, helping each other out whenever and wherever necessary. If there are a large number of staffers, split them up into teams with technical people working alongside sales people. As a team they need to have time prior to the show to get acquainted, develop a level of trust and get to know and understand each other’s strengths.
10. Review performance
Each day, conduct debriefing sessions to review performance. Team members should be encouraged to give and receive feedback from colleagues to look for ways to improve performance each day. Managers need to remember that individual achievements are worth group recognition and be sure this feedback ties into your overall pre-show strategic goals set in the beginning.