Sofia Troutman is the Senior Digital Marketing and Product Innovation Manager for Skyline Exhibits. Sofia heads up Skyline’s marketing efforts in new product development and management, lead generation, exhibitor education, industry relations and market research.
9 Reasons to Fire Your Booth Staffer
When it comes to vendor events, your company only has a small window of time to bring in potential customers and wow them. The staffers at your booth are your first line at these events, therefore success is dependent on their behavior during the event. Even the most carefully chosen booth staffers can end up hurting your event, and then, it’s time to say goodbye. Here are 9 reasons you should fire your booth staffer.
Lateness or Failing to Show Up
The reasoning is simple: if your booth staffers don’t show up, you have a few products on a table and nothing else. The key to success in a vendor event is the interaction and lead generation from the visitors to your booth, and without a staffer, that can’t happen. Beyond the initial worry that you’ll miss valuable interaction with potential customers if no one is staffing your booth, lateness or a failure to show up may indicate a fundamental problem with your booth staffer. Chronic lateness could be a sign of underlying social anxiety or lack of confidence. Individuals staffing your booth should be confident and outgoing, as well as punctual.
Like the chronically late, chronically rude booth staffers can also be a huge problem at a vendor event. Because face-to-face communication is the backbone of a vendor event, booth staffers must be friendly and open. Each visitor to the booth is a potential customer; every conversation is a lead. Your booth is the first impression some people may have of your business and, as a business owner, you don’t want that impression to be a turn-off. Additionally, rudeness is thought to be contagious in the workplace; if one staffer is rude, it could influence the behavior of others.
Offensive behavior isn’t just catcalling, inappropriate flirting or racial slurs. Although these are arguably the worst types of offensive behaviors, and could get your staffer into a great deal of trouble, you should consider other, minor offensive behaviors, such as cussing, inappropriate gestures or touching of a visitor, or off-color jokes. Although not everyone may be offended by these behaviors, it takes just one or two visitors to your booth who witness these types of behavior to start a word-of-mouth chain of events detrimental to your vendor event success.
Gossiping While Staffing
Your staffers role at your booth is part sales person and part customer service rep, and he or she can do neither of these jobs effectively while talking or gossiping. Whether your booth staffers chat with one another, spend the whole day talking on the phone, or gossips the entire time, it doesn’t matter. All of these scenarios mean that visitors aren’t being welcomed like they should, and you could miss out on valuable customer interactions.
Eating at the Booth
You’ve got to eat, but not during a vendor event! There are several great reasons your staffers shouldn’t be eating while they are working an event. First, eating at a vendor event is unsanitary. As your booth staffers are eating, they are spreading bacteria from their mouths to other parts of the booth. Second, eating at the booth is incredibly distracting, and depending on what he or she is eating, could leave an unpleasant odor in the booth, driving traffic away from your setup. Lastly, eating while you’re working is unproductive and inefficient. Have you ever had a meaningful conversation with someone who attempts to speak with a mouthful of food? I am sure it was not a positive experience.
Using a Cell Phone
For many, cell phones are an important part of their work and personal lives. Technology lets us do amazing things when it comes to vendor events; such as connect with other vendors or visitors through social media, but when it comes to working an event, your booth staffer should take a break on tech or hit the road. Some rude cell phone behaviors include texting too much, taking phone calls when visitors are in the vicinity of the area, talking too loudly while in the booth, checking for new messages continuously, and playing music or games loudly. These behaviors are not only distracting to the staffer, but can lead to frustration from visitors trying to get information about the product or service at your vendor booth. This also makes your staffer look distracted, and could make your visitors feel like they aren’t a priority for your company. If possible, round up all the phones of your booth staffers, including your own, and place in a locked cabinet, or a safe stow away drawer. Your staffers won’t be distracted by their phones if they aren’t attached to them at the hip.
Sitting Down on the Job
If you have scheduled your staffers correctly, your event staffers will get a break throughout their time at your event, but if they are spending the largest chunk of time sitting instead of greeting visitors to your booth, it’s time to let them go. Stamina is an important part of working an event successfully, making small talk with hundreds of people, standing and walking for hours, and using powers of persuasion to sell your product can be mentally and physically draining. If your staffers aren’t up to the task, find someone who is.
Talking Too Much
Staffers should be friendly, talkative and outgoing, but conversely, they should be able to listen to the booth visitors. When staffers talk too much, or talk about themselves too much, it can be a turnoff for potential customers. Sales, fundamentally, is finding a solution for a problem. If the booth staffer doesn’t listen for the problem presented by the attendee, he or she will be incapable of selling or promoting the product effectively. Your staffer should be familiar with different facets of your product or service, but not dump all this information on the visitor.
Talking too much is a problem, but talking too little is as well! If there’s one thing a booth staffer shouldn’t be, it’s shy. Blatantly ignoring customers, whether they just aren’t interested in talking or are too shy to approach them, can make attendees feel undervalued. If your employees undervalue prospects at a sales event, how will they treat the prospects after the sale is made? Keep in mind that attendees want to be wowed at an event, and to stand out from other vendors, your staffers must make an effort to approach and dialogue with prospective customers attending the event.
A Trusted Display Company Can Help You to Choose the Right Employees for the Job
If you’re new to the trade show and expo scene and you want to avoid these mistakes from the start, asking your trusted display company can help you to determine which employees to choose for any given trade show or expo. More likely than not, this isn’t their first time dealing with these particular incidents and they can offer invaluable insight on making the right choices for manning your booth.