Things I Wish Somebody Would Have Told Me About Exhibiting

January 21, 2020

Candy Adams

Candy Adams, aka “The Booth Mom®,” is a hands-on trade show exhibit project manager and trainer. She helps exhibitors maximize the return on their exhibit investment using the best strategic, tactical and training practices. 

No. 8:  Spoil your onsite exhibit staff. 

The morale of your on-site exhibit staff is your secret weapon. A happy team is a productive team. And the happier they are, the more positive their interactions with be with your prospects and customers who’ll remember their in-booth interactions with your uber-professional staff. This memorability is what will linger in your prospects’ minds long after your exhibit is back in its crates after the show.

What are you doing to make your on-site exhibit team comfortable with their show participation — mentally and physically?

Since we’re in show biz, I compare our exhibit to a stage we’ve set to entertain our attendees. In my analogy, our props are things like our graphics with key messages, demos, collateral literature, lead-gathering system and giveaways. Our scripts are the elevator speeches, qualifying questions and product knowledge. Our exhibit staff are our actors. So, don’t forget the rehearsal that will incorporate it all into an award-winning performance.   

Are you mentally preparing your exhibit staff with pre-show communications, off-site strategy and boothmanship training, and an in-booth orientation before the show so they’re comfortable in their booth ambassador role and know what to expect when the show opens? 

And are you considering what your exhibit staff want to get out of the show? Is it time off to attend some conference sessions, schedule meetings with prospects in their pipeline, check out the competition, or network with colleagues and customers? You need to consider their objectives for the show, too, and scheduling their booth duty accordingly, not just telling them what the goals and objectives are for your corporate exhibiting program and expecting their instant buy-in.

Don’t forget to pack the creature comforts for your staff while they’re at the show – everything from having small bottles of water for parched throats to a variety of finger-fruit, granola and snack bars when lunch just isn’t an option. In my “be-nice-to-your-staff-stuff,” I also stash a variety of headache and cold remedies,; antacids to counteract show chili dogs; Pedialyte or Gatorade for the dehydration and electrolyte imbalance of hangovers; Vitamin C candies to ward off colds; throat lozenges or cough drops; a variety of Bandaids and moleskin for foot boo-boos; tiny hotel-amenity bottles of mouthwash; enough TicTac and Altoid mints for everyone; a box of anti-viral tissues, and even pump bottles of hand sanitizer. Oh, and don’t forget a supply of foam or gel insoles for tired feet (buy the largest size and let your staff cut them down to fit)! Achy, tingly feet are your exhibit staff’s biggest barrier between a smile and a grimace! (And yes, this is how I was first nicknamed “The Booth Mom!”)

Shows are tough duty, so it pays to do whatever you can to make them as easy as possible on your staff!


This blog is part of an ongoing series. Read No. 7 here.


Don’t miss any event-related news: Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter HERE and engage with us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram!

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Just when it seems like Las Vegas can’t get any bigger, brighter or more exciting for groups, MGM Resorts raises the bar again. The company continues to invest and innovate across its portfolio of Las Vegas resorts, with new attractions and upgraded experiences for attendees of all interests.  Remodeled Guest Rooms MGM Grand is the largest single hotel in the world with over 5,000 guest rooms and an 850,000-square-foot conference center. It is home to the newly remodeled MGM Grand Studio Tower—700 reimagined guest rooms with a fun mid-century vibe. Nearby, the iconic New York-New York Las Vegas Hotel & Casino recently completed a $63M redesign and remodel of its 1,830 guest rooms and 155 suites. Down the street, Bellagio Las Vegas is sporting renovated rooms in the Spa Tower with sunrise-inspired decor and luxurious soaking tubs in Premier King rooms after a $110-million transformation. Reinvented Luxury Experiences The Luxury Meetings District, made up of Bellagio Las Vegas, ARIA Resort & Casino, Vdara Hotel & Spa, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas, is now more connected than ever before. A new interior walkway opened this October for a seamless attendee experience – connecting Vdara, Bellagio, and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, guests can now walk from Park MGM to Bellagio in around 15 minutes. New on the scene in the Luxury Meetings District is Cathedrale at ARIA, TAO Group’s upscale establishment specializing in exquisite French-Mediterranean cuisine offering elevated private dining experiences that opened in May. Heralded by World’s Best 50 Restaurants, GQ and VOGUE, LPM at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is opening this fall and will deliver its signature spontaneity and imaginative celebration of France’s Mediterranean cuisine, art, and culture to the unique luxury resort in impeccable fashion.  A “New Wave  for Mandalay Bay A new wave of enhancements and experiences has arrived at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, including Flanker Kitchen + Sports Bar, an 8,445-square-foot restaurant that opened this June, perfect for pre- and post-game eats and drinks. Event planner’s favorite, Chef Michael Mina’s StripSteak, received a full renovation and now includes one of the largest private dining rooms on The Strip. Retro by Voltaggio debuts a one-year residency with a fun take on pop culture of the 80s and 90s with classic American dishes. An exciting addition planned for 2024 is Swingers, a 40,000-square-foot oasis of street food, miniature golf and art at Mandalay Bay. Most exciting for meeting planners, the 2.1 million-square-foot Mandalay Bay Convention Center  is undergoing a complete refresh, with lightened space, added eye-catching art, and improved technology infrastructure for even more flexible space. Energy-efficient digital signage now leads the way with faster internet speeds and new AV options. From renovated guest rooms and meeting spaces to celebrated dining options and dedicated teams, MGM Resorts is dedicated to delivering exceptional and innovative meeting experiences.