The Hidden Tricks to Perfecting Your Stand Engagement
Published by Aimee Boschier | 19/12/2019
You’ve booked your exhibition stand, and your show is just around the corner. Whilst it is so important to have your exhibition stand ready and all your logistics sorted, there is one factor that can ultimately make or break the success of your show. Your stand staff and their performance on your exhibition stand. It is fundamental that your staff are clued up about the show and your exhibiting goals, but the next few pointers will take your stand staff training straight to the next level! Keep reading to find out how you can ensure your stand staff are positively impacting the result of the show.
DO: Be Ready!
Before exhibiting, get yourself prepared and ready to ensure things run smoothly and effectively when you’re on the show floor. One way to do this is by setting your goals in advance; ensure they are focused and specific to ensure you have a target that is both measurable and attainable to prove the success of the show.
Next, training your stand staff is a must. Ensuring they know how to effectively interact with visitors, so that they get the information they need to continue their customer journey with your brand. Part of your staff training is to validate their knowledge of your products and your company’s values to be able to effectively answer any questions and give useful information. Make sure the team are fully briefed before the show. This should include a pre-show briefing and then a kick-off each morning to get the team focused.
It is (usually) all about leads, so make sure your team know what conversations need to be had with visitors! And ensure they understand the information that needs to be recorded so their questioning style reflects this. Be prepared and organised with your supplies prior to the show. Make sure you have a lead capture process in place, whether that be a pen and paper, or badge scanning, and make sure everyone is on board with the same process.
DON’T: Group Together
Identifying your stand space and how you are effectively going to utilise this space is such an important factor. And educating stand staff on this, will ensure engagement is effective and worthwhile.
Ensure all areas of your display are always covered with a member of staff. This way, any visitor approaching will be greeted onto the display at any given point, driving great customer experience from the onset. Furthermore, make sure your staff are continuously on the move, filling in the gaps and spaces around the display.
Try to avoid staff grouping together in a cluster, not only is this intimidating and unapproachable, there will be visitors wandering around your display with no one to assist them.
Body language is so influential in sales, especially when you’re trying to establish the atmosphere with the visitor. Be open and welcoming with your gestures and be positive in your tone of voice. Both of these factors will impact the customers’ experience and will result positively for your sales.
Moreover, having welcoming and strong body language will encourage visitors to venture onto your stand and ask you questions. A smile has such a positive impact, not only on your own mood but those also around you.
Likewise, using opening gestures will seemingly make you more persuasive than those who have their arms crossed. Ensure you are standing with confidence, with your feet not too close together as can make you look unsure, whereas if you widen your stance, it lifts the confidence expressed and people are more likely to trust what you have to say (1).
DON’T: Lean or Slouch
When exhibiting, there is nothing worse than seeing someone leaning or slumped against their own display. Not only are you presenting yourself as someone unapproachable, but it also makes you look incredible lazy and disinterested in your brand!
Similarly, keep alert at all times and ensure you are ready for a conversation at any given point. There will be times you can sit down during the day but doing it on your stand is not the place – unless you are having a discussion with a customer!
Standing up will alert visitors you are ready to talk and put you in the perfect position to catch their eye.
DO: Approach Visitors
Simply waiting for visitors to approach you and ask you questions can result in lost opportunities. So sometimes you need to make the first move! Move around your display, and if no one has ventured onto your display space, move into the aisles and be ready to engage.
The best way to approach someone is to first catch their eye, try to establish everyone as a potential customer (no stereotyping), even those who don’t end up being a lead. And be ready to ask an open question to get the conversation flowing. Here are some great examples to start:
“What are you looking for at the show today?”
“What do you do in your job role?”
“How can we help you today?”
Once you’ve started the conversation, listen carefully to their answer and understand whether there is anything you can help with. Sometimes it is worth asking more questions to keep them engaged and let them know you’re interested and keen to help solve their queries. This is also an added benefit to you to ensure you can respond with accurate and useful information.
DON’T: Focus on Your Phone
It might just be a quick email or a quick chat with a client, but it won’t contribute to making your show a success! Remember when exhibiting to keep your goals in mind and establish whether any of these goals will be positively impacted by being on your phone.
As soon as you go on your phone, visitors will think you’re busy and will decide against coming to talk to you. Put your phone away and focus all your attention on the visitors at the show and as a result, driving growth in potential sales.
It’s understandable that being away from the office can put pressure on other deadlines you’re currently working towards, so if you need to take that important call or send that email, take a step away from your stand!
DO: Allocate Breaks for Stand Staff
Standing up all day and engaging with people can become quite tiring, so make sure you have a break to reenergise and renew, ready to continue for the rest of the day. In the planning process, ensure all the stand staff have a scheduled break in the day. This way, staff can not only grab a bite to eat, but they can also wander around to scout out the competition and see what else is happening on the show floor.
But make sure your stand is always manned by scheduling staff to go on breaks at different times. Whilst it is important to get those leads, having no lunch break can result in reduced productivity and tiredness. Not a good match to get good sales!
DON’T: Eat on the Stand
If you’re allocated time to go on a break and there are designated café areas, you have no excuse to be eating on your stand!
Firstly, you want to avoid having crumbs and rubbish all over your display. This will look unprofessional and can drive people away from your stand. It is the whole team’s responsibility to keep the stand looking top notch! So, if you’re going to eat, do it within your break or away from your stand.
Secondly, if you’re too busy munching, people will be hesitant to talk to you, putting you at risk of losing potential business.
And lastly, try not to chew gum! It’s distracting and looks unprofessional!
DO: Enjoy it!
If you take away one thing from this blog post, make sure you enjoy and have fun at your exhibition. Exhibiting is a great chance to meet new people, learn new skills and take away valuable information! Take the time to see what other exhibitors are doing and start to plan what you might do in future shows. And the best bit? It’s a day out of the office, so make the most out of it!
Hopefully these pointers will ensure your experience exhibiting is a success, with your stand staff positively contributing to the outcome. But with so many factors to consider, it is worth checking out Tecna UK’s Tradeshow Checklist to make sure you’ve checked everything off your to-do list! Have a look.