Part of our job here at PacWest Exhibits is to truly know as much as possible about everything trade show. Unless you spend all of your time coordinating and managing trade shows and events, it’s hard to know everything. For that reason, we do a lot of training on trade show do’s and don’ts.

We often get asked by our clients about how to properly staff their exhibit. While there is no cut and dried answer, there are some common characteristics that make up a good staffer. Most are good communicators. They are knowledgeable about your products and services. They understand what your company’s goals and objectives are for the show. They have energy and act like they’re happy to be there.

Notice in the above description that the words sales or salespersons are not used. Often times these people are not your best staffers. If you have a technical piece of equipment or software you’re selling, perhaps a better choice would be an engineer or the developer. Each show needs to be evaluated on both your objectives for the show and what persons are best suited for meeting those objectives.

A good booth staffer will know what questions to ask to determine if a contact is a potential customer or not. If so, they will probe deeper to help the follow-up staff be more knowledgeable about the needs and wishes of the customer. The more information the staffer can provide the better.

Finally, a good staffer will know how to release someone they are speaking with if that person is not a potential client. One of the most successful ways to do this is to simply say something like “it’s been nice talking with you” and then hold your hand out to shake their hand. The handshake is a polite universal message that the current conversation is over.