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How to Train Team Members for Trade Shows

Your company spends hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to put together an amazing trade show exhibit with an even better custom trade show exhibit design that showcases what your company is all about. However, regardless of how much money you invest into your custom trade show exhibit design, if you do not have the right individuals on your team, you will not make a good impression on the trade show attendees. The success of your next trade show ultimately depends on your staff. Therefore, training your staff on how to handle all situations at your next trade show is critical.

Your staff should know how to interact and react to all situations at the trade show. Nothing should come as a surprise to your staff members, as your training should prepare them for what they have to look forward too. When you are looking to train your staff members here are some pointers to keep in mind.

Prepare them with Valuable Information

When you are training your staff for the big day, it is important you take a step back and train your staff with all the valuable information they should know. This training should consist of information your staff should share with potential clients. They should have most, if not all the answers to any questions the attendees may have about your business.

Prepare them with a Script

When training your staff, it is critical that they know how to approach attendees properly. Therefore, creating a script for them to follow is essential. It gives them guidelines of what is expected from them when they approach visitors near the booth. The script should feature a guide on how to sell your product/service without intimidating the attendee. Instead, your staff should sell your product/services by sharing and showcasing how your services can benefit the individual at your booth.

Show them How to Spot an Interested Attendee

Not all attendees that browse your trade show exhibit are interested in the products you have to sell. Therefore, you want your staff to have a keen eye for those that are interested in your product/services. This is especially true when you have a large crowd surrounding your booth. Instead of focusing on everyone in the crowd and giving them all a follow-up call. Your staff should be able to spot the difference between prospects that will be waiting for a follow-up call from the ones that are not.

Teach them to be Engaging

Training should include instructions on how to be engaging. We have noticed many trade show employees are not aware of the importance of being captivating to visitors. Being engaging can make a huge difference in the way your brand comes across to the attendees. Keep in mind there are multiple different companies that sell similar products and services to yours. Therefore, your staff need to bring something different to the table, and that is what being engaging does. It makes the attendees feel part of something which is exactly what you want when you are trying to bring people on board with your vision.

Ways to Greet Attendees

During your trade show exhibit display, there will be a lot of trade show attendees walking around your booth and looking to see if anything that you have to offer interests them. These individuals are considered as potential customers and should be treated as such. Therefore, your employees need to be aware of how they should be approaching the attendees that are walking around and browsing your booth.

The key to gaining leads and sales during a trade show exhibit is greeting your potential customers and making them interested in your product or services. The idea is to make them want to know more about your product and how they can simplify their life. Not all trade show visitors may want to become a customer of a company. However, most attendees are seeking a product or service that will help them achieve their goals. Here are some ways to greet trade show attendees that are sure to create more leads and potential customers.

Spark Interest

When approaching a potential customer, it is important to spark interest in them through the greeting. You want to create a sense of curiosity so that they want to listen to what your business and product has to offer them. To spark interest, you may want to ask an open-ended question as a greeting. An open-ended question allows for conversation to flow naturally and you can get a perspective on what that specific trade show attendee is looking for.

You may want to ask a question such as “What challenges are you currently facing with service X?” Allowing potential customers to express the current issues that they may be facing with a service that you can resolve, and this is an excellent way to get them on board, as you can solve their problems.

Be Personable

An excellent approach when it comes to greeting potential customers is by being personable. You want to be as friendly as possible and so should your staff. Trade show attendees want to feel as if they are part of something. Therefore, involving them in your greeting is a great way to begin a conversation with them. For example, “What are your thoughts on our custom trade show booth?” this question can spark a dialogue as well as cause the potential customer to feel that their opinion matters.

When a potential customer feels as if their opinion matters they are two times more likely to want to become part of your company.


When greeting potential customers one of the main rules people tend to forget about is listening. Listening is very important when you are trying to make someone come on board with what you have to offer. The rule is 80% listening and 20% speaking, as the potential clients want to feel and know that they are being heard. You want to listen to their opinions and concerns and then respond with how your product or services can help them. If you listen to the potential clients, they will tell you exactly what they are looking for. Therefore, guiding you in what you should do next to show them they are looking for your product or services.

Best Edible Samples for Trade Shows

During your trade show exhibit, you want to incorporate items or giveaways that will attract more individuals to your custom tradeshow booth. The key to a successful trade show exhibition is finding like-minded people that want to know more about your product and services. However, attracting them to your booth is a mission in itself because there will be hundreds, if not thousands of different booths around you competing for people’s attention. Therefore, you want to stand out from the crowd, and one way to do that is to have edible samples that trade show attendees can get their hands on.

Trade shows can be long and time-consuming, which can make attendees feel hungry and thirsty. Having goodies for them to try can cause more individuals to crowd around your booth and listen to what you have to offer. Here are the best edible samples you can have at your next trade show.


Snacks are an excellent edible sample to offer the individuals that attend your trade show exhibit. They are easy to move around with, so the attendee can take them along with them as they visit other booths. You do want to make sure your snacks have your logo or label on them with a sticker, so the attendee knows exactly where the snack came from. You can even have mugs or mason jars with your brand logo on them that holds the snacks as a way to have your brand featured on a product.

Baked Goods

If your company revolves around food, you want to have your specific recipe be the main star of your trade show exhibition. Therefore, if you are offering baked goods, you want to cut them into smaller pieces to make it easier for the attendee to try your product while walking around and admiring your booth.


Walking around for hours can cause anyone to become thirsty and tired. Having beverages as your sample is an excellent option to have at your trade show booth. It will help the attendees as they will have something to drink while you share with them what your services and company can do for them. Another excellent idea is to have your brand or logo on the cup or mug you offer the beverage in.


Although this can be seen as a snack, popcorn is an excellent edible sample to offer as there are so many options for you to choose from. You can offer a few different flavors as well as even having a popcorn machine which can bring more, attendees to your booth. There is also the option of using popcorn packs that have your business logo on them.

When you are considering what edible samples you should offer at your booth keep in mind food allergies. You may want to stay away from any edible samples that have nuts in them as individuals may have a nut allergy. You want to make a good impression on your booth attendees and not make them sick in any way.

Trade Show Planning Timeline

Putting on a great custom trade show display not only takes time, but it also takes a great deal of planning. You can truly never do enough planning when it comes to putting on a trade show that will bring your company and business more clientele. Although trade shows do take time and effort to put together, they can also bring large amounts of new potential clients as they essentially put your brand out there for the masses. Therefore, you want to have a trade show that is memorable and well designed.

To do just that you need to have a well-thought-out plan that will give you the results you seek. Here are some planning ideas for your next show that will help guide you in the right direction.

6-9 Months before the Trade Show

Ideally, when you are planning a trade show, you will begin to plan as soon as you know when the custom trade show exhibit will take place. This is why we suggest beginning to plan your trade show 6-9 months in advance:

∞ Define your goals- Once you know which trade show exhibition you will be attending it is time to define what your goals are. You will want to put together 2-3 goals that you would like to reach during the trade show.

∞ Set a Budget- Before you begin putting together your trade show plan you need to set a budget. Trade shows are expensive. Therefore, having a set budget will help keep everything in order from the very beginning.

3-5 Months before

∞ Research-3-5 months before the event you want to research as much as possible about the event, the individuals that will be attending and what they are looking for specifically. This research will give you an insight into what you should be providing the individuals that attend your booth.

∞ Choose Your Booth Staff- Keep in mind in order for you to have a great show you need to have an even better staff that knows what is expected from them and how they should perform during the exhibit. This is the time to consider who your best employees are and which individuals will work well as a team to make your goals come to life.

∞ Exhibition and Display Design- This is also the time you should be putting together your trade show exhibit and display design. You will need enough time to put it all together and you will achieve the display you want if you do it with enough time ahead.

∞ Brainstorm Promotion Ideas- You need to begin brainstorming promotion ideas for the trade show. Remember, if nobody knows you will be attending the show, nobody will attend your booth. Therefore, your products and services may not be noticed.

∞ Prepare for Travel- If you are traveling for the trade show this is the time you will need to book flights, set up hotel rooms and think about how your trade show exhibit will be transported to the event.

∞ Order Promotions- You want to order your promotional items with enough time for them to arrive. Some promotions take over three weeks to ship depending on where you order them from.

∞ Train your Employees- Training your employees makes all the difference in the world when you want to have a trade show booth that is well put together. Your staff should know exactly what they should say and how to solve any concerns the individuals at your booth may have.

2 Weeks before

∞ Promote Your Event- Two weeks before the event is when you should begin making people aware of your attendance at the show. You can do this via email, social media, flyers or even through word of mouth. The idea is to get your event noticed by as many people as possible.

∞ Prepare your Lead Booklet- Whether you decide to collect leads in a booklet or by using electronics. You want it to be prepared and ready to go at all times.

∞ Prepare a Back-Up Kit- You want to prepare a back-up kit just in case something ends up going wrong. Your kit should include essentials that can save the day, such as tape, black markers, and even band-aids.

Day of the Event

∞ Enjoy your day- That is the only thing you should need to do. If you follow the timeline above your day will go as smoothly as possible, and you will be able to enjoy it.

Determining What Type of Booth Display You Need

You’ve booked your next trade show and now you need to figure out what booth display will work. Here are a few of the options available to you:

Linear booths have a common back wall and has another exhibit on at least one other side. These types of booths are frequently seen at most trade shows.

An island booth is open on all fours sides. They are ideal for corners, main aisles, inline exhibit spaces, and the ends of rows.

A peninsula booth is exposed on three of its four sides. It can back up to a linear booth or be located next to another peninsula booth.

Ready to get started with your booth design? Exhibit Options can help! Contact us today!