• J Williams Agency

10 Tips for Training Trade Show & Event Talent

Updated: Aug 16, 2019

The J Williams Agency has provided talent for thousands of trade shows, conventions and events. With a diverse database of 15,000 uniquely qualified talent, they provide talent placement for almost any industry from automotive to financial and beyond. However, even the most experienced trade show talent should be trained before each and every show. To maximize your trade show success, here are tips for training trade show & event talent.


1. Start with the basics.

Reinforce the high energy, communication skills and eye contact you expect from your trade show talent. Discuss how showing up on time is critical, and how playing on a cell phone inside the booth won’t be tolerated. Cover the basic expectations of what you desire in your trade show team.


2. Share brand and audience insights.

Include brand lessons, such as your brand voice, personality and values. Also share a complete audience profile, such as industry, title, common objectives and challenges. Representing the brand and being able to relate to the trade show attendees is key for a successful trade show activation.


3. Focus on the in-booth experience.

Make sure your trade show talent understand the journey they need to give booth visitors. How will they be greeted? What hands-on activities can they participate? What emotional reaction do we hope to elicit? Which products will they be able to see, touch or demo? Which videos will be playing? How will leads be collected and data shared? Will they be given swag? What needs to happen before the visitor walks away? The job description needs to tie back to the brand’s objectives and the audience’s experience.


4. Build problem-solving skills.

Trade shows and events are full of snafus. Discuss common challenges and allow the trade show team to create their own solutions. Talk about what might go wrong logistically, as well as questions that may arise when they’re conversing with potential leads. Plan for the unexpected.

5. Test their stamina.

Trade show talent are on their feet for hours at a time, yet must maintain the friendly, professional, knowledgeable presence in the booth. Find ways to test their endurance and steadfastness during the training, so they’re prepared to handle every trade show feat.


6. Be detail-oriented.

Make sure your trade show team knows how your display should look every day, so that they can maintain its appearance. Teach them how to scan the attendees’ badges and even how to take the best trade show pictures. Show them where to check-in/out each day of the convention. Discuss apparel and hygiene requirements. All of the small details forge together for a successful trade show exhibit.


7. Motivate and reward.

Set specific goals for your trade show talent, and reward them with incentives as goals are achieved. When their gig is sweetened with perks or bonuses, your trade show team will work harder. This means greater results and better ROI!


8. Role-play.

Trade shows are face-to-face events, so your training should be in-person, too. During this time, role-play with the trade show talent to better prepare them for the interpersonal interaction they’ll be having with a variety of people at the event.


9. Critique and repeat.

Showing up for training isn’t enough. Your trade show talent needs to be able to demonstrate a solid knowledge of the information and the in-booth expectations. If one of the team members is struggling with certain aspects of the trade show's experience, require more training until the talent is fully prepared for the show.

10. Track results.

Review each trade show talent, so you know who performed well and who needs re-assigned. Tracking the team’s results will guide decisions about trade show participation and correct placement in the future.


Hiring the right Trade Show & Event Talent through J Williams Agency is just the beginning. Trade show talent must be fully trained and prepared to make your trade show marketing a success.



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By: Emily Fritz, marketing manager at dio


As an experiential marketing agency, dio’s specialty is creating and executing integrated brand experiences. Hands-on consumer engagements and memorable experiences drive brand recognition, brand recall and brand loyalty. For more information, please visit diousa.com.

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