When you’re exhibiting at a trade show, you need to make every second count. You will be competing for attention against dozens of rival companies, and even if you’ve created an amazing exhibition stand that’s brought people over to have a look, your staff still need to engage potential customers or you’ll have wasted your investment.

You must know from walking around trade shows yourself how unwelcoming stands can feel when there are bored members of staff sitting at the back hunched over their phones or a couple of people gossiping rather than engaging visitors. Even the glossiest of leaflets or best promotional gifts are likely to remain untouched on the table in front of them. You’re much more drawn to stands where staff are smiling and making eye contact, which is why it’s so important to keep your team incentivised to engage with delegates and maximise the opportunities. We’ve put together a few handy tips:


Utilise the spirit of competition by offering a prize as an incentive to any member of the team who reaches a certain target, such as making the most sales, engaging with the most people or securing the hottest lead. As long as you have a way of tracking their success, you can encourage them to do better. The incentives on offer don’t even have to cost your company a huge amount of money. It may well be that the promise of, say, a day off work or a Monday morning lie-in is more appealing to busy members of staff than a cash bonus or expensive gift.


Being ‘on duty’ at trade shows can be physically as well as mentally tiring, so helping your team relax during the day will give them the opportunity to stretch out tired muscles and return feeling re-energised. Look out to see if there is a company at the show offering chair massages – if so, hire them to massage your team. Alternatively, see if there’s a mobile massage therapist in the local area and get them to come in to give treatments. If your trade show is being held over a few days and requires overnight stays, then help your team relax in the evening with activities that aren’t just eating in the hotel restaurant and drinking in the hotel bar. If there is an escape room experience nearby, for instance, it could be a fun way for everyone to let off steam. Check out the area for comedy clubs too – after a night of belly laughing (hopefully), they’ll be much more relaxed and raring to go on the stand the next day.

Keep the energy levels up in the down times

There are inevitably going to be times during the trade show when things slow down (usually just after lunch) and there are fewer delegates around. These are the times when you need to introduce a bit of fun in to proceedings to help raise the energy levels in your team. In turn, this will have a positive knock-on effect on any delegates who turn up for a chat. So the afternoon slump is a good time to offer spot prizes to encourage the team to go out and talk to people and hopefully turn low energy into great leads!

A great exhibition stand!

Well we would say that wouldn’t we, but surroundings do affect how people feel, so if you want to incentivise your staff to do well, design an innovative stand they’ll be happy to call ‘home’ for the duration of the show. Contact us to find out more.

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