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Readers Write: “To Shag or Not to Shag” is a Really Important Question

November 25, 2013 Readers Write 2 Comments

“To Shag or Not to Shag” is a Really Important Question
By Shannon Snodgrass

We were laughing about Ricky Roma’s shagilicious request on HIStalk in our staff meeting this morning, but “to shag or not to shag” is actually a really important question. You can spend thousands and thousands (and thousands!) of dollars on your booth and show services. but few things are as important as the staff working your booth.

These are the people who will be telling the story of your company and interacting with your customers and potential customers. Not only do they need to be trained, they also need the tools and support for a successful show. That includes proper flooring that will support them comfortably in the long days that trade shows are famous for. How can you expect your staff to stay focused and upbeat if they are daydreaming about a foot massage while a potential customer is trying to get their attention?

There are many things to consider and plan for when staffing your booth. You need to consider each person, their natural talents, and tolerance and create a schedule for the show that utilizes each person to their best advantage. Shows can be overwhelming with sights and sounds. Even an extrovert can easily be overwhelmed.

Be sure to allow time for breaks to check emails and connect with customers outside of the booth. They also need time to call home and sit down for a minute to enjoy a snack. Even the best booth babes (guys and gals) need a little time to themselves to refresh and powder their noses.

In addition, your staff should be armed with core messages relative to what the company does, each of its products, and also a personal message about their role within the organization. Teach your team to listen and how to use listening as an effective communication and sales tool.

Keeping focused and on message can be tough in the crazy trade show environment, but training your staff ahead of time and providing them with the tools they need will give them the drive and focus to get through the day. Coffee, plenty of sleep, water, and comfortable yet attractive shoes don’t hurt either. 

On the "to shag or not to shag" debate, we have found that a low pile with a premium carpet pad provides support and comfort for most everyone no matter the heel height.

Shannon Snodgrass is senior project manager for Thomas Wright Partners.

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2 Responses to “Readers Write: “To Shag or Not to Shag” is a Really Important Question”

  1. 1
    Kelly Says:

    Shannon, EXCELLENT advise and wisdom. I’ve attended and worked many trade shows and conferences over the years and I agree that each of your points is dead-on.

  2. 2
    Anonymous Says:

    Sorry, but I had to laugh (cry?) when I read this. I have worked many, many trade shows (big and small) and If you had any idea how little training and prep we “booth babes” get, you might be surprised! Yes, there’s usually some word document that goes out ahead of time outlining what time to be there, admonitions about not using your cell phone and letting someone know when you leave the booth for a potty break, but that is about it! Fortunately, most of the folks I’ve shared booth duty with are professionals and really don’t need to be told how to behave. But I’ve experienced being told that “the bottle water and chairs are for the customers, not the staff”, and cheap vendors who don’t pay for padding under the carpet, but expect staff to stand on the concrete floor for hours at a time and still “stay fresh”. Still, it’s part of the job and so we do what we do!

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