Do you know how to train event staff for your upcoming shows?

After an extended hiatus, trade shows and events in Canada are finally full steam ahead.

But while your company may be extra eager to dust off the old trade show display (or design a new display), your event staff may not feel the same way.

After two years of working remotely from the safety of their own homes, some may have major apprehensions about being back in a public forum, while others may need some practice with their social and selling skills.

To help you get your team back up to speed, here are 7 tips to train and prepare your event staff for 2022 and beyond.

1. Start early

Getting started early will help make sure your team is in tip-top shape well before the event. We recommend two to three months beforehand. Create a schedule and reach out to your event team to give them plenty of notice for their upcoming training. 

Then plan a kick-off meeting to go over the training schedule in greater detail, what products or services you will be promoting at the event, and what your general expectations are of the team. This will help ensure everyone is aligned from the get go and give your staff time to ease into the role.

2. Plan a team-building event

After two years of working independently, your team may have forgotten how to work together. Schedule a fun team-building event at the beginning of your training to help your team shake off those “scaries”.

You could go to a sporting event, do a scavenger hunt or trivia night, or go bowling (to name a few).

Make sure it’s non-work related and not at the office. The purpose of the event is to build relationships. Holding the event at work can create an added layer of stress for your team.

3. Practice pitches and demonstrations

Most of your training will be spent practicing your pitches and product demonstrations. To get the most authentic demos, let your team take the wheel, test the products and share how they would present it to booth visitors. Then tweak their pitches as needed to make sure it aligns with your brand’s expectations. 

How to train event staff

4. Hold a mock trade show

Two weeks to a month before the actual event, invite your family and friends to a mock trade show to let your team put their practice to the test. If you have the space to set up your trade show display, do it! Not only will it give your team a feel of how they will move about the display and use it to demonstrate your products or services, it will also be a final check to make sure the display is ready for the show.

During the mock trade show pay attention to each team member and keep notes on what they are doing well and what needs improvement. This could include their pitches, demonstrations, or body language.

Don’t forget to ask your “attendees” for feedback on what they felt worked well and what didn’t.

5. Create event kits

To make sure they have everything they need for the event, create event kits for your team. These should include any uniform they are expected to wear (like t-shirts, aprons, etc.) as well as other useful items they may need the day of (like face masks, hand sanitizers, cleaning wipes, bottled water, etc.).

6. Over-schedule and encourage mental health breaks

You may be used to running your trade show booth with just two to three team members, but that shouldn’t be the expectation for your first few shows back. To let your team slowly get into the swing of things, overschedule for the day and plan many little mental health breaks to keep your event staff feeling their best.

To go the extra mile, have healthy snacks like cut fruit or nuts available for your team, or include them in their event kit.

7. Check in regularly

Don’t wait for a team member to burnout. Check in with each team member before and after their shifts to see how they are doing both physically and mentally, and if you can support them in any way.

Keep an eye on the tell-tale signs of burnout like fatigue, procrastination, and unusual quietness.

Hit the trade show floor with BDG 

When it comes to trade shows and events, getting back to “business as usual” is not going to be easy. But with plenty of training for your event team and the support of the trade show professionals at Best Displays and Graphics, 2022 will be your best one yet.

If you’re ready to start, give us a call to discuss booth design, trade show rentals, and installation and dismantle services. We’re ready when you are.