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Four mistakes to avoid when hiring Exhibition Promotional Staff

Exhibitions are a fantastic way to connect with existing and potential customers. But to make it a success you need to make sure you have the best possible staff ready to deal with queries, promote your products and services.

Having insufficient or the wrong type of staff will seriously impact on your brand and your chances of a successful exhibition.

We highlight 4 of the most common mistakes to avoid.

Wait until the last minute to hire staff

You have all the products needed, the stand has been designed and looks great. But what about staff? Many companies leave this until the last minute, a decision they soon regret.

Promotional staff are important

They need time to familiarise themselves with their duties and with the products and services they are promoting. Any scripts to learn should be provided at least four weeks ahead. Detailed schedules of timetables, dress codes, contact information, addresses, job roles and functions must be available a minimum of one week ahead.

Leaving it to the last minute means they don’t have enough time to prepare. It also means that the best staff have already been booked by other companies.

Book promotional staff at least three months in advance. The best people are booked up to twelve months ahead!

Choosing the most cost effective agency

Shopping around to find a suitable agency is normal business practice, but don’t necessarily opt for the cheapest. If you want value for money and good quality staff, then you have to spend more than the absolute minimum. Just think, if an agency is planning to charge you a very low fee, then what are they paying their staff? Will those underpaid staff be motivated to work hard and make a real effort to promote your business?

When choosing an agency, price has to be just one factor not the deciding one. Paying a cheap rate might help your budget, but it could prove costly in the long term.

Minimising communication with your promotional staff agency

Work closely with your promotional staff agency. Talk to them, explain exactly what you want the promotional staff to do. A good agency will welcome this approach, and will be keen to work with you to ensure that the staff they provide are perfect for the job. After all – it’s also the agency’s reputation on the line!

A good agency will let you look through their database of possible employees. They can also hand pick staff members for you to interview and check out. A good agency will have a back up policy in case employees fall sick or are unexpected prevented from being able to fulfil their roles. An agency which has an account manager available 24/7 to deal with queries while your event is underway ensures that any emergencies can be instantly handled.

Having a massive database of 20,000+ potential employees is not necessarily a good thing. Find out how the agency recruits those staff – it may be that quantity is being prioritised over quality.

Hiring staff on the basis of appearance

A common mistake is to hire promotional staff who seem to look the part. Promotional staff do need to match the required brand image, but you do need to make sure that they have the right credentials. Are they reliable? Can they meet objectives? Will they get along with the rest of the team? Are they well spoken? Check out potential staff with a short interview even if it is just a phone chat or a video call.

Just before the exhibition, take some time to hold a briefing session with everyone on the team including all the promotional staff. This enables you to make sure that everyone is on the same page as regards targets and objectives, and that all requirements for costumes, scripts, product knowledge have been met. Treat your promotional staff as valued members of your team who also need motivating. After the event, a debriefing session will enable you to seek feedback regarding customers, competitors and the event which will help your future marketing strategy.