Not every exhibit program is totally made up of big shows and big exhibits. In fact, the most active companies in face-to-face marketing have numerous small-scale booths in smaller shows. Often the responsibility for attending the show is that of the field sales rep. These folks, operating on their own, become your booth staff handing registration, logistics, collateral and giveaways, shipping along with actually staffing the display, attracting visitors and laying the groundwork for sales.
In this scenario, your field reps’ first order of business is sales, and so it should be. So how can you maintain brand consistency and make it easy on the rep?
Simplify the Details
Design a display that is easy to set up, break down and is modular enough to allow for different onsite configurations. (The traffic flow is from the left, not the right. The hotel lighting bleaches out the demo monitor.) The delivery of the display materials should include return labels, instructions for set up and due dates for returns. If there is a purchase order system or credit card payments for shipping, these should be in the packet. It’s also a place to drop a best practices booth staffing flyer and a warm support message from marketing to the rep.
Plan Access Anytime, Anywhere
An online ordering system lets you control the branding and display look and feel. Sales reps order properties from a “shopping cart” of options. Because it is web-based, reps can be anywhere and in any time zone and be able to arrange for their next show. Online ordering also gives you valuable metrics on which reps are making the most of face-to-face sales opportunities and which properties are the most popular.
Have An Opportunity for Feedback
After every show, reps should be encouraged to get back online and answer a survey on the effectiveness of the display, the value of the show and what they would do better or differently. It can also deliver a reminder to return properties to marketing for redeployment. A quarterly report back to reps on how the program is working and want successes or recommendations have come through the survey can keep professional booth staffing front and center in a reps sales tools,.
Your field sales reps can be a valuable an extension to your marketing department. Supporting them with tools they can use easily will open the door to increased exposure for your brand and the opportunity for highly qualified leads and sales.