Engaged Exhibit Staff = Engaged Attendees

Derse | November 30, 2018

Derse has been in the trade show and event industry for over 70 years – helping our clients connect with their customers. We know the power live brand experiences can have on your customers and want to eliminate some pain points so you can focus on what really matters – your relationship with your customer.

One common pain point we see is that trade show staff aren’t representing the brand or product effectively. We’re going to share solutions for some of the most common pain points we see with exhibit staff.


What it looks like:

  • Personal conversations in the exhibit during show hours, often deterring potential customers to enter your space and start a conversation.
  • Exhibit staff appears more interested in each other than educating attendees on products and services they are there to represent.
  • The exhibit space is overstaffed, creating an overwhelming feeling for visitors.


  • Set aside designated time outside of show hours for staff socializing and meals.
  • Reinforce why your company is attending the trade show (for example, to collect leads and interact with potential customers on the show floor), and make sure trade show staff are aware of how little time is really available to make an impact.
  • Lean, mean, and a dedicated team – although a well-prepared exhibit team often ranges in size, one to two staffers is generally all that is needed to begin a conversation and bring attendees into the exhibit experience.


What it looks like:

  • A poorly engaged exhibit staff member approaches attendees with yes or no questions which ultimately can cut the conversation before it even begins and doesn’t get to the root of the attendees' pain points or reasons they are visiting your exhibit.


  • We have two ears and one mouth. Act accordingly by seeking the problem and discussing the solution.
  • Replace yes or no questions with questions starting with “how, why, and what" which lead to longer, more in-depth conversations.


What it looks like:

  • Exhibit staff may be in the exhibit space, dressed accordingly, and educated on their mission but their eyes fall to their smartphone more frequently than eye contact with potential attendees.


  • If a smartphone must be used, encourage staff to step away from the exhibit and return once free to focus on the role at hand.
  • Provide 15-minute breaks during exhibit hours for staff to check email and phone messages.

Schedule a trade show training meeting either prior to your trade show start date or the morning before the trade show floor opens to make sure everyone understands the goals and rules on the trade show floor. Because, a well-planned and well-executed “face-to-face” experience will help you achieve your trade show goals and objectives, and set the stage for the success of your entire program.

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