Saturday, August 28, 2010

Staffing: when is too many too much?

A colleague related to me the other day about a show experience she had with her company and booth staffing.

At a recent trade show, her company sent a contingent of 17 to staff the booth and work the show. Glad to see they want to participate and be a part of the experience. However, there was a fundamental problem:

My friend's company had a 10 x 20 booth space.

And it gets worse: they were sharing it with another division from the corporation who sent a group of three to man staff their "half" of the booth.

If I do the math right, that's at least five times the number of people needed for this space.

While there are rules of thumb on how to staff a space (usually 2 to 3 people per 100 square feet), you really can go overboard. But 20 for 200 square feet? Let's get real.

As always, consider the value and usefulness of all who attend a show for your company.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Report from the Field: Observations on Four Types of Booth Staff

Our colleague, Scott Cytron, and I recently were trading stories about trade show experiences. Scott comes from a different circle of shows than I do, but his experiences are very similar. He came up with this report talking about the four types of trade show reps:

"I’ve told this story quite a few times over the last few months – always to be met with some great laughter, so I thought I would share it here.

I think there are four types of trade show people – not the attendees, but the company reps who work the shows to gain leads for business:

  1. The Go-Getters. This group is the one that excels, always thinking ahead to the next stop-by attendee and truly putting his or her best foot forward. The Go-Getter often is in front of the booth instead of behind a table or behind a kiosk, welcoming each and every attendee and talking to any potential leads as possible. These are the ones you want working your booth.
  2. The Italian Suit Guys. These are the Mr. Slicks--the guys who are more concerned with their appearance than they are with selling a product or service. They are always on their cell phones, combing their hair and looking in the mirror to ensure they are all put together.
  3. The Sit-Down Laggards. ow many times have you been to a trade show in which the reps are sitting down, totally unconcerned with booth traffic and just about anything else. They are unconcerned and usually checking e-mail, and are not the ones you want on your team. Yuck.
  4. The Logo Shirts. Images of cheerleaders come to mind, although “energy” is not a bad thing; still, you do not want to be mowed over with corporate speak when it comes to trade show reps. These folk live and breathe the company mantra. OK – that’s not so bad either, but it’s often too deliberate and too in-your-face for my taste.
OK – now it’s your turn. Give Scott and me some feedback and some stories on your favorite or unlikeable trade show reps. Or other trade show stories.

Thanks, Scott.