Trade shows are long and testing, both mentally and physically. Your people need to work together well and to exercise initiative and determination throughout the planning, show and post-show periods. There is a huge need for excellent managerial coordination across all the elements of the trade show team, but even with a poor plan or poor show, if you have well motivated people, you can achieve anything.
In order to motivate your people, you need to establish what your goals are. Being specific and producing well-thought out objectives will leave no room for doubt as to what the overall targets are and just what team and individual member’s responsibilities are.
If your team knows exactly what is required of it, they have something to shoot for. An amorphous goal is simple aiming to shoot a cloud and is ineffective. In addition, if you have a clear objective strategy which has the support of senior management and demonstrates positive benefit to the company, then it simpler and easier to gain the support and enthusiasm of people who are not directly connected to the project.
You also should recognize that your team is not simply the booth staff who will be on the trade show floor. Your team will include all of the support staff who are handling planning, support, administration, marketing, logistics and post show follow up.
Assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of each team member so you obtain the right balance for the trade show itself. A booth staff team will comprise sales staff for obvious reasons, however you should also look to include support and service people too. The reasoning behind this is that they are a demonstration to your commitment to customers, and in addition they are able to field technical conversations which sales people usually fluster.
Your post-show follow up team is vital to the overall success of the campaign. If the follow up is being handled by the booth staffers, then you must ensure that they stay on top of things after the show frenzy os over. It is all too easy to down tools and relax for a day or two after the show, however this is the time to calling contacts made, following up with emails and mail and arranging sales meetings to take the sales process to completion.