How to Manage Your Trade Show From Afar

Posted 10/04/2018
How to Manage Your Trade Show From Afar

Feeling confident that your trade show is going swimmingly is peace of mind you can’t put a price on. But when you’re exhibiting overseas there’s a lot to consider before you can feel confident about managing an expo from afar.

The extra work is worth it. The ability to ensure a smooth and profitable trade show internationally will open up global opportunities for your business.

You can master the essential preparation required to ensure success with our help. Based on our extensive experience of managing 3,000 projects across 53 countries, we can provide you with the very best tactics to get exhibit ready from anywhere in the world.

The Right Team for Global Exhibiting Success

Your exhibition team is your business’s first impression at a trade show. That’s your hosts, brand ambassadors, presenters, lead generators, crowd gatherers and translators. Organising a team you can trust and briefing them in advance will give you the upper hand at any future exhibition overseas.

Staff you can rely on must have with experience in either:

  • Proactive attendee engagement
  • Hospitality
  • Presenting
  • Data capture

To identify top talent, you need to ask the right questions:

  1. Do they have the relevant experience?
  2. Can they speak the right languages at business level?
  3. Does their personality match your brand?
  4. Do they have enough knowledge in your sector?

Use this guide for in-depth insights into the qualities your trade show team require for lucrative exhibiting from afar. If you don’t have the booth staff you need internally, consider getting help from a specialist staffing agency. At Expo Stars, we only recruit the very best talent with exhibition experience and skills to ensure trade show success for our clients.

Having a team that fits in with your business and work seamlessly together is necessary for profitable exhibiting abroad. Without this, you can’t ensure they’ll achieve your objectives without your input on the day. And a poor performance will hamper your ROI.

Key point: book your staff well in advance – at least 2-3 months ahead of the show. If you leave this priority to the last minute, your choice of staff will be limited. Plus, with no time to prepare your team, your exhibition will be disorganised and capturing leads will be difficult.

Prepping Your Staff

You wouldn’t put an actor on stage if they hadn’t read the script. So don’t expect your booth team to know what you’re objectives are without a brief.

Each team member should understand their roles, objectives and responsibilities before they exhibit. That way, they can network expertly on behalf of your business no matter which country you’re exhibiting in.

Check these things-off your list to prepare your staff:

  • A clear and succinct brief with quick-reference to contact names, dress codes, roles, event promotions, your objectives and your expectations
  • Around five unique selling-points (USPs) for your business (to give to your sales team)
  • A rehearsal for presenters

All aspects of communication should be considered including the show’s schedule as The Balance contributor Rob Hard emphasises:

“It is amazing the number of booths where staff will disappear 15, 30, even 45 minutes before the end of a show missing the opportunity to interact with prospects and giving off an unprofessional image.”

With effective preparation you’ll have a loyal and brilliant exhibition team you can rely on for future shows, minimising your ongoing organisational efforts.

KPIs – You Need Them

Your staff need key performance indicators (KPIs) they can measure during an expo so you can manage overall trade show performance from afar. With relevant and carefully-considered KPIs, you can use these results as a benchmark.

It also helps you drive trade show efficiency. When your team is connected to your exhibition objectives, they have the clarity and confidence needed to deliver better results without you by their side.

Here are three examples of KPIs worth measuring:

  1.  Trade show booth attendance

Calculate this by monitoring how many prospects visited your booth. At the end of the show, compare this to the overall number of attendees. Your answer will reflect how successful your exhibit was and how well your brand ambassadors and crowd gatherers performed.

  1. Value of your leads

By assessing how many prospects were quality leads (who have the most interest in your business and are most likely to purchase from you), you get a clear picture of your investment gains. You’ll only know which leads are quality once they become customers. If they make purchases after the show, you’ll need to measure this KPI post-expo.

  1. Social media engagement

Exhibiting is a great way to connect with people through a shared experience face-to-face. After a show, measure post shares and likes, new followers etc. to see how much of an impression you made exhibiting abroad.

Nominating a Team Captain

When you exhibit internationally but can’t attend in-person, you need to be able to trust someone who understands your business explicitly and can lead as well as you do. A tradeshow captain is your second pair of eyes. They manage the team and keep them on track so your objectives are met without fail.

Again, use a specialist recruiter to find your perfect team captain if they don’t already exist within your business. Hiring an effective leader is a critical move for expo success as the renowned management consultant Peter Drucker highlights:

“Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”

Use Lead Capture Apps

Take advantage of technology that can give you real-time performance stats on expo lead generation from your desk.

We recently partnered with Vivolead, a company that creates groundbreaking lead capture and ROI measurement software. This technology helps our clients:

  • Measure lead generation results accurately
  • Effectively follow-up with leads
  • Minimise administration for the booth team
  • Save time & money for greater ROI
  • Feel confidence when exhibiting abroad

It frees up staff to concentrate on face-to-face engagement while helping you manage your KPIs and figures anywhere. As Henrik Nielsen, Managing Director of Vivolead points out, giving your team to time to focus on customer service is paramount:

‘If you don’t engage with your customers the right way or register them in an efficient manner […] spending thousands of dollars on creative stand design isn’t really worth it.’

The Key to International Glory

… is trust. If you don’t have a team or tools you can rely on you can’t confidently manage your trade show from afar. Assemble a team that’s in-sync with each other, with their best abilities and with your exhibition objectives for the best possible trade show results abroad.

Posted 10/04/2018