Here’s Why Your Trade Show Booth Staff is Missing the Mark

November 22, 2016

There’s a big missed opportunity in the trade show world.

Too often, brands fail to capitalize on the enormous lead and sales generation potential of expo marketing. Many believe that pulling together the smartest, most enthusiastic staff will guarantee success on the trade show floor. We’re here to tell you that’s not always the case.

Don’t get it wrong: It is undoubtedly beneficial to have an expert, excited staff; but if having a talented team were the only thing that mattered, finding success at trade shows would be an entirely different story.

It’s time for some tough love. There’s a reason your trade show booth staff is missing the mark. And, chances are, your staff is not to blame.

Here’s the truth.

Your staff may be falling flat because your sales and marketing teams are not aligned.

Your marketing team in particular carries a heavy weight the day of your trade show. They are tasked with representing the face of your brand, serving as subject matter experts, reeling in potential customers and maintaining contact with them throughout the buyer’s journey. On the surface, it may look like your marketing team is entirely responsible for the success of the show.

But that’s not quite the full story.

Success on the trade show floor is a collaborative effort.

Companies with a strong marketing and sales alignment see on average 20% annual growth. This success points to a unified vision within your company where everyone is “on the same page.”

What does it mean if your marketing and sales teams are misaligned? It means that your sales team is not privy to the marketing objective, there is little or no communication between departments, and, ultimately, your trade show strategy is not unified.

To get the most out of your trade show booth, you need to fix that.

So, where can you start?

Right at the beginning.

Before planning your trade show strategy, pull both your marketing and sales teams together in a room. There, you should hash out these crucial details:

  • Goals – First, define the overall marketing objective for your trade show exhibit. They can be as small as the number of conversations you have on the show floor, or as big as the number of sales you close at your booth. But what they absolutely need to be are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
  • Roles ­– If you have both teams represented at your show, determine who is responsible for what. In general, what is the booth etiquette? When should you approach the prospect? At what point should someone be handed off from marketing to sales on the show floor?
  • Life after the show – Hopefully, you’ll walk away from the expo with a database overflowing with new leads. Both the sales and marketing teams are instrumental in nurturing these leads to a sale, but they are most effective when working in collaboration.

What’s next? 

Alignment between sales and marketing should not end with the dismantling of your trade show exhibit. You should maximize your trade show’s impact by properly following up and nurturing any newly acquired leads.

The data tells a convincing story: An astounding 95% of buyers chose a solution provider that “provided them with ample content to help them navigate through each stage of the buying process.”

Therefore, two critical things need to happen following the show. First, as the subject matter experts, the marketing team needs to equip sales with relevant and engaging content. Then, the sales team needs to distribute this content to their leads at the appropriate stage of the buyer’s journey.

Don’t miss out on another trade show opportunity again.

Magic can happen when your sales and marketing teams are united under the same goal. Contact us today to help you get started (we know a thing or two about hitting trade show goals).