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Why Pre-Show Training is Essential – Part 3

Over the past two weeks, we have covered two important benefits of pre-show training for your booth staff (first, we talked about adapting conversations according to each visitor’s specific situation, and next, we discussed quickly qualifying leads for efficient follow up). This week, we will highlight one more.

So, without further a do, a properly trained booth staffer can…


If your staff is not adequately prepared, they may inadvertently misinform your prospects or lessen a visitor’s opinion of your company by mishandling their questions. This happens because professionals don’t like to look or feel stupid and, when uneducated about a subject, some will fabricate an answer (typically one that they assume to be correct, but may or may not actually fit the situation).  Specifically, making up an answer often results in one of three scenarios:

1 – your guests can tell that they are being deceived and, as a result, they become less likely to trust your company in the future,

2 – your representative promises something that cannot be delivered and that puts your sales team in a difficult position,

3 – your representative gets lucky and is correct (although, this tends to be the least common of the three).

I would recommend that you address this situation before it comes up by educating your staff on the FAQs they can expect and reinforcing that the most appropriate answer (as long as they actually follow through) may be “I’m not sure, but I will make a note [on your card/in the badge scanner] and find out for you.”

It is also important to provide your staff with information about any corporate promotions taking place before or during the event because it will reduce your visitors’ confidence if your team is completely unaware of their (your company’s) involvement in such activities. Show your staff any relevant literature attendees will have access to (including recent articles and advertisements you have produced or been mentioned in) and post a schedule of all speaking engagements, contests, and other activities you will be sponsoring or attending those days (like receptions, webinars, etc).

Finally, don’t allow your team to be blind-sighted by questions surrounding sensitive subjects, especially those of a high profile or heavily publicized nature; be sure to prepare your team with appropriate statement(s) before they encounter members of the media and other interested parties so they can represent your company in a positive light.

Key Training Items: expected questions with corresponding answers, promotional efforts, scheduling, appropriate responses for sensitive topics

The experience attendees enjoy when they come to your booth is heavily dependent on the personality, interest level, and communication skills of your staff; however, proper training before the event can enable your team to improve their performance despite their starting level. Without pre-show training, however, even your best representatives will not be able to confidently do their best work for your company. Don’t let your pre-show training fall any further down your to-do list, start planning today to prepare your staff for your next set of upcoming events.

After growing up with self-employed parents, graduating with an Aerospace Engineering degree, and a short stint as a trade show "Booth Bunny," Robyn started When I Need Help (WINH) to show professionals a better way to maximize their exhibiting results. Need help with your next trade show? Contact Robyn.