In Business - When You Don’t Know You Need Help
An unexpected solution to overstaffing
Especially in today’s economy, it is difficult to predict which events will be well attended and which will not. Many companies choose to err on the side of “overstaffing” which can become an issue that sours the entire experience. When staff feel as though they could be better used elsewhere, 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 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. Instead of fixing this by erring on the side of “understaffing” (which brings an entirely different set of challenges); I 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 host can provide some structure and stability to your booth.
If you have a competent host 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.
As a consistent face for attendees throughout the event, your host enables visitors to feel comfortable in knowing your booth is under control. The host 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 host 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.
As the host takes a moment to engage attendees, he or she enables visitors to have more quality interactions and to take away positive memories of your company. With casual conversation, the host 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, the host 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 the host introduces each party with a short sentence to describe why they needed to meet.
If you have a competent host in your booth, your representatives can focus their efforts on building relationships instead of verifying necessary contact information.
As quality leads are verified, the host ensures future contact is possible. He or 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.
Having a competent host in your booth enables your company to make more meaningful connections with current clients, to 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 host when you need help, whether you know it or not.