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44 Things A Booth Staffer Does

January 24, 2013 | | Comments 15

44 things a tradeshow booth staffer doesOne summer during college I had a job as a busboy at The Old Ebbitt Grill, just around the corner from The White House.  The best piece of advice given was that a busboy had to be like a shark, and never stop moving.  That same advice works wonders for a trade show booth staffer.

Your best booth staffers have a strong work ethic, a wide variety of skills, and Gumby-like flexibility.  Booth staffers are more than eye candy at the edge of the booth; they are the epitome of multi-taskers.

Here are 44 things booth staffers can do, in your booth and throughout the show:

  1. Set up your trade show displays
  2. Take leads
  3. Be a brand ambassador
  4. Advance the buying cycle
  5. Engage attendees in the aisle
  6. Establish relationships with prospects
  7. Qualify leads to establish needs
  8. Present how their company can solve a prospect’s specific needs
  9. Overcome objections
  10. Record each prospect interaction
  11. Give presentations
  12. Demonstrate products
  13. Introduce your new products
  14. Answer technical questions
  15. Recruit potential employees
  16. Gather competitive intelligence
  17. Gather market research
  18. Give interviews to industry press
  19. Meet with potential suppliers
  20. Forge new business alliances
  21. Network with industry peers
  22. Attend keynote and seminar sessions
  23. Dine with clients, prospects, and business partners at breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  24. Attend hospitality events
  25. Host hospitality events
  26. De-clutter the trade show display of accumulated cups, empty water bottles, scatter literature, and other trash
  27. Spot-clean the booth surfaces and flooring
  28. Enter leads into the database
  29. Fix or find fixers for technical glitches with computers or internet connections
  30. Sort leads by quality and pass on hot leads right away
  31. Restock promotional items, literature shelves, business cards and candy bowls
  32. Unwrap giveaways (or wrap with company branded paper)
  33. Serve food and drink to prospects
  34. Meet with existing clients
  35. Refill lead form print pads and staplers
  36. Take a break to recharge
  37. Walk the show floor and take the pulse of the industry
  38. Help rookie staffers learn faster
  39. Ask veteran staffers how to succeed
  40. Share with management their insights on what’s on the mind of the attendee
  41. Share with management what went well and how to further improve the company’s trade show performance
  42. Dismantle the trade show exhibit
  43. Ensure the crates come back
  44. Ensure the exhibit ships with the right shipper to the right place

That’s a lot for booth staffers to do, and rare is the person who can do it all.   The first sign of civilization was the division of labor, so do the civilized thing and give your booth staffers the jobs they do best.  For example, it’s almost certain that your top management prefers to meet with business partners rather than refill lead pads.

Choose your booth staffers who will both take full advantage of the many valuable business activities possible at a trade show, and will roll up their sleeves and smilingly complete even the most unglamorous tasks.

And never stop moving.

What else do you or your booth staffers do at a trade show?  Share with your peers in the comment box below.

Trade Show Booth Staffing Guidebook85% of your trade show success depends on your booth staff’s performance.  To help you multiply the results you get from your booth staffers, read the Booth Staffing Guidebook.  Click here to request your free copy of the 48-page book filled with insightful articles, worksheets, and checklists. 

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Filed Under: Trade show booth staffing


About the Author: Mike Thimmesch was Skyline Exhibits' Director of Customer Engagement, for over 25 years. He is now retired and spends him time freelancing, traveling, and enjoying time with his family.

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  1. […] Have you ever been to a trade show and seen staffers slouching in an empty booth, or looking at their phones, or chatting with one another? It may seem easy to conclude that there’s nothing for them to do – no customers, no job – but here’s a link to an excellent article with 44 reasons why that’s utter nonsense. […]

  2. Dave says:

    Nice list, thanks for posting! It can help explain to our bosses what we do!

  3. Kimberly Layton says:

    AMEX on publishing the list of all we do at shows. It’s not a “free trip” full of fun for those who think that it is. I plan to remind my management all that goes in to booth staffer’s job and the good ones that cover 100% of the list!

  4. Paul says:

    45. Treat everyone as a potential customer.

  5. Hi Mike,
    I love your post, and want to thank you for sharing it! It’s a really thorough guide, for the trade show novice or expert.
    If you’re a novice, I recently wrote a blog post on my top tips for surviving your first trade show, which makes a great addition to the tips listed above! You can check it out at:

  6. Mike,
    I’m a seasoned booth host. However, I took note in your article there are several things I’ve become negligent of:

    1. Establish their needs #7.
    2. Record each prospects interaction #10.
    3. Host and attend hospitality events, and dine with prospects #25, 24, 23, respectively.

    Thank you for the refresher course. Hopefully by being aware I’ll do a better job.

  7. 37 Things A Trade Show Booth Does | Skyline Event Group says:

    […] I wrote a surprisingly popular blog post called “44 Things A Booth Staffer Does.” Some readers were amazed at the wide range of skills and tasks booth staffers require, while […]

  8. Why Your Trade Show Booth is the Most Important Member of Your Team | Skyline Ottawa Blog says:

    […] own Mike Thimmesch has followed up his popular article on 44 Things Booth Staffers Do with an even more incisive look into what makes a trade show tick – and this […]

  9. […] I wrote a surprisingly popular blog post called “44 Things A Booth Staffer Does.”  Some readers were amazed at the wide range of skills and tasks booth staffers require, while […]

  10. Lynn Fisher says:

    Thanks for the wonderful article. Would I be able to send it to my exhibitors if credit is given to you? This is very timely and has come up many times.

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