Trade Show Training

If you have ever been involved in a trade show, ask yourself this: how much time have I spent training for the trade show before the day of the event? Probably none. In fact, I’ve never heard of serious any pre-show training in at any company.

If a company does any sort of training at all it’s usually held in the morning on the first day of the event. They tell all the booth staff to meet an hour before the exhibit hall opens so they can go over a few “key messages” and go over some new products or how the spin-to-win game is going to work. Most people come late and miss part of it. They don’t have a problem blowing it off because they figure they already know it. This kind of training is the equivalent of no training.

It’s no wonder that trade shows are so ineffective for most companies.

Mike Moyer

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Julia O'Connor - October 31, 2010

I agree with you for about 90% of your rant. Yup, most companies blow off preparation and training for a show – geez, how hard can it be. You’re going to be among friends – and enemies, strangers, competitors and clients. You know your company and its products – in your department or division, but not across the breadth of your firm. You are probably not privy to the insider gossip, lawsuit threats, miscalculations, product change timetables or the answers to the latest contest.

There is a lot of preparation before a show, but most firms have a “show up” and everything will be OK attitude. As I tell clients – at a trade show, folks come to see your company, not you. But if any one of the staff is incompetent, rude, drunk, smelly, tells dirty jokes, gossips, gives wrong information, hits on folks (male or female) and any number of other obnoxious behaviors it is the company that is remembered and avoided. From the time you leave home until you return home, you are not John Doe or Susie Q, but the public face of your firm.


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