Are your exhibition stand staff the ‘weakest link’?
This leads me to ask why such a large percentage of a company’s marketing budget is spent on an exhibit and less than 1% of that exhibition budget on exhibit staff training.
Even more surprising is that 61% of exhibitors say they train their staff, but mainly via informal training – typically, a relatively short briefing just before the show opens. It takes more than an overview of corporate goals and key messages to produce truly effective exhibit staff; how to engage, leads qualification and next sales step management are all essential skills as well as large amounts of good humour and patience!
At NeosCreative our remit is to get visitors to pause or to have some sort of reaction to every exhibit design. Exhibitions are about information and interaction and the exhibit is the environment that relays the brand of a company. The key is what to do if we have been successful creating the pause effect and there is no one to take advantage and engage? An initial response would be to say our clients need staff with people skills. However, it is not quite so simple as most of the shows we design for are business to business with lots of technical staff and our clients need people with the knowledge to talk to the visitors about the products and services. Our research programme backs this up with 98% of exhibition visitors ranking knowledge of product and services as their most preferred attribute for exhibit staff, over friendliness.
We have tried various methods of measuring exhibit effectiveness including mystery shoppers, with our most successful solution being the use of a GoPro camera and time-lapse photography. This enables us to film all aspects of the exhibition to review visitor engagement and highlight potential areas for improvement. This enables us to adjust visitor flow, manage engagement and provide suggestions to achieve further exhibit effectiveness.
Exhibitions are expensive, but they are still the number one marketing method for face to face communication. At NeosCreative we believe that a creative, well designed exhibit and trained exhibit staff are essential for a truly successful exhibition experience.