Staff Training: Change the Conversation. Change the Results

Megan Wells | June 6, 2017

When it comes to tradeshow season, feelings can go many ways, but I’ve found there are two major ones: excitement or dread. Where do you fall?

Perhaps you are the tradeshow manager tasked with ensuring your sales team is ready to hit the ground running come show open. With a reported 75% of effectiveness driven by your staff, you can’t afford to not equip them with the right tools to initiate and even close business on the tradeshow floor.

Training is a buzz word that unfortunately has a few connotations tied to it that aren’t exactly positive. I hear often that corporate trainings are boring and not well-received by staff. Why is that?

The word training implies that something is wrong or that a person is not already doing what they are supposed to. It’s singular in nature and tends to be an interruption to a day filled with sales calls, meetings, and other day-to-day obligations.

So how can you change the perception and drive greater results on the trade show floor? Here are 3 suggestions to help get you started:

  • Change the conversation. mg, for example, has adopted the term “Staff Coaching” as a new offering to clients. Coaching or Strategic Briefing are words that suggest professional development and imply it’s something people are already doing but as with anything, there’s opportunity for growth. This “team” association will change staff mentality and ultimately evolve their behavior when it’s game time.
  • Consider someone from outside the organization. The Center for Exhibition Industry Research has found that 75% of staff teams respond more positively to an external coaching program. Partner with an external resource and let them put an objective face to what your team needs to truly excel. This outside perspective will resonate with your team in a different and positive way and will ultimately make your job easier.
  • Use competition to your advantage. Who loves a friendly competition more than salespeople?! Throw in some creative incentives and reward them for things like most appointments scheduled pre-show or first to receive an RFP post-show. And don’t forget to publicly recognize the winners as this will motivate the entire team for future shows.

A quote that has resonated with me through my years of coaching is worth noting today, “If you always do what you've always done, you will always get what you've always got.” External coaching will take your team to that next winning level! And remember, by changing the conversation, you’ll change the results.

mg Coaching. Industry research tells us that 85% of our success on the show floor is linked to staff performance. Preparing your staff to engage with your audience is one of the most critical investments you can make. That is why mg has developed a series of coaching options that take your great staff to the next level. From interactive exhibit demonstrations to engaging roleplay, our award-winning coaching team will craft the ideal learning experience across a variety of learning styles. Delivery can be customized to your needs and budget – with on-site, off-site or webinar-based programs available. Your staff will be eager to apply their knowledge to your next show or event, helping you stand out from the competition.