Written By: Robyn Davis
When representatives feel as though they could be better utilized anywhere else, they are less likely to take the event seriously. Unfortunately, this is not just a personal problem for them – a negative attitude in your booth is infectious and can hurt your company’s bottom line – fewer people will leave the event with a positive impression of your company.
Overstaffing vs Understaffing an Event
Especially in today’s economy, it is difficult to predict which events will be well attended and which will not. Many companies choose to send a number of existing staff members and err on the side of “overstaffing.” But, without appropriate consideration, this can become an issue souring the entire experience for everyone involved. When representatives feel as though they could be better utilized anywhere else, they are less likely to take the event seriously. Unfortunately, this is not just a personal problem for them – a negative attitude in your booth is infectious and can hurt your company’s bottom line – fewer people will leave the event with a positive impression of your company. You are less likely to achieve your stated goals and future marketing strategies could face resistance when your company remembers this failure. However, instead of erring on the side of “understaffing” (which brings an entirely different set of challenges); I would encourage you to resolve this issue by adding one more person to your team.
You may be thinking, “If I already have too many representatives – how could the solution be to select one more?” Keep reading and I’ll show you three ways adding a competent hostess can provide some structure and stability to your booth.
Solutions to Overstaffing
ONE: As a consistent face for attendees throughout the event, your hostess enables visitors to feel comfortable in knowing your booth is under control. She politely greets attendees and recognizes them upon second and third visits, maintains a general idea of which company representatives are where (and when they’ll return), and passes along the messages left with visitors’ business cards as directed. Maintaining a booth presence for your company allows representatives to attend sessions, meet with VIP clients and attendees, resolve issues, as well as explore the show floor without worrying about missing important contacts who visit the booth in their absence.
If you have a competent hostess in your booth, your representatives can maximize the use of their time at the event (outside the booth) while your company still appears to be fully committed to maintaining a strong showing inside the booth.
TWO: As she takes a moment to engage attendees, your hostess enables visitors to have more quality interactions and take away positive memories of your company. With casual conversation, she determines which attendees would be best suited for immediate introduction to a company representative, others who would require a brief overview of company capabilities along with traded business cards, and still others who are only looking for a sweepstakes entry. At the same time, she can tell which on-site representative is currently the most appropriate to introduce according to attitude, availability, and experience. Jumping into these conversations is not awkward for anyone because your hostess introduces each party with a short sentence to describe why they needed to meet.
If you have a competent hostess in your booth, your representatives can meet pre-qualified attendees and waste less of their time and energy on interactions with those who may not be a great fit.
THREE: As quality leads are verified, your hostess ensures future contact is possible. She scans badges, collects business cards, and records notes while your company representatives finish their conversations. Without drawing your representatives’ attention away from the current interaction or abruptly disrupting the positive connection forming with your visitors, all of the necessary information is collected for follow up at another time.
If you have a competent hostess in your booth, your representatives can focus their efforts on building relationships instead of verifying necessary contact information.
Having a competent hostess in your booth enables your company to make more meaningful connections with current clients, form positive impressions on potential, future clients, and to improve your appearance within your industry as a whole. Don’t reduce the number of representatives you send to each event – increase it… consider a hostess when you need help, whether you know it or not.
Interested in establishing effective connections while networking at events? Click here.
Robyn Davis was raised by self-employed parents, learning the ins and outs of business…
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