What differentiates a great trade show exhibit from a so-so one? The booth staff! The best displays are manned by a coordinated team working together to ensure the exhibit's success, rather than a haphazard handful of employees who happened to be available that week. How do you transform your staff members into a strong team? Just remember your ABC's.
A: Assign creative, intelligent, and enthusiastic people to trade show duty.
B: Begin early to be adequately prepared for the show.
C: Create goals and objectives for the show.
D: Determine benchmarks for the show, both for individuals and for the entire team.
E: Establish a time-frame for each of the benchmarks.
F: Find ways to make the trade show fun and exciting for all staff members.
G: Get upper management involved to make the show a success!
H: Highlight each team member's strengths with appropriate job assignments.
I: Identify how team members can support each other to reach team goals.
J: Justify all trade show activities: Are they helping your team achieve their goals?
K: Knock off any practices or behaviors that keep your team from succeeding.
L: Last minute contingencies require advance planning and coordination.
M: Maintain a chain of command. Every staff member needs to know who is in charge.
N: New ideas are valuable: Encourage, capture, and implement the best.
O: Open your mind to creative, innovative displays and approaches.
P: Plan how to convey essential information and skills to your staff members.
Q: Question your staff. What do they know? What do they need to learn?
R: Recognize the need for training. Ensure your staff is adequately prepared.
S: Success is quantifiable. Decide how you will measure yours.
T: Time tables and schedules help keep the team on track.
U: Understand what kind of teamwork will be necessary to put on a top-notch show.
V: Vying for prizes motivates many staffers. Offer great rewards as incentives.
W: Watch out for trouble: Identify where the project can go wrong and plan accordingly.
X: Examine the decision making process: Is it clear and efficient?
Y: Yes men don't help: Encourage independent, autonomous capable staffers.
Z: ZZZZZ: Trade shows are very long. Adequate rest before the show is imperative!
Written by Susan A. Friedmann, CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, Lake Placid, NY, author: "Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies," working with companies to improve their meeting and event success through coaching, consulting and training. Go to http://www.thetradeshowcoach.com to sign up for a free copy of ExhibitSmart Tips of the Week.