The Top 10 Signs of Disengaged Trade Show Staff

Trade shows can be an incredibly valuable tool for businesses seeking to expand their customer base and raise brand awareness. Unfortunately, trade shows can also raise negative awareness about your company. If your trade show staff is poorly trained or not fully engaged, you run the risk of warding off potential clients and doing more harm than good at trade shows.

Custom Trade Show Rental Booth with plenty of room for your trade show staff!

Custom Trade Show Rental Booth with large backlit panels

Below are the top 10 signs that your trade show staff is disengaged:

1) They spend half the day trying to score a date with the trade show models across the aisle.

It is never a good sign when new customers have to wait patiently to inquire about a product while your trade show staff finishes flirting with the models across the aisle. Your primary reason for participating in a trade show is to meet new business prospects – not new love prospects.

2) Your booth looks like it just survived a tornado.

Your promotional displays are dusty, your table skirt is wrinkled, your booth carpeting is covered with debris, and your sales staff are lounging on the chairs set up for potential clients. When your trade show staff is so disengaged that they do not even care about your booth’s appearance, it is time for a discussion on trade show etiquette!

3) Your staff is the last to arrive and the first to leave every day of the expo.

Clearly, your sales team is not aware of the increasing costs of trade show booth space. And with some customers unable to visit the exhibit hall until the end of the business day, you stand to lose business if your trade show staff leaves early because they are disengaged.

4) Your new flat panel display to showcase products is being used to stream NFL games all day.

Everyone enjoys NFL Sundays, but turning your booth’s focus from your newest products to the NFL’s latest rookie sensation illustrates poor judgment exhibited by disengaged staff.

5) Trade show representatives are MIA for hours on end.

Just when you are about to file a missing persons report, you spot your reps casually leaving the food court. And to think you thought it was your imagination that your staff had gained 10 pounds throughout the course of the expo….


10×20 Multiquad inline trade show exhibit with MQ benches

6) They are unable to function because they overindulged the night before at the welcome reception.

When your sales team is not able to remove their sunglasses until the end of the expo, you can actually see your trade show investment going down the drain.

7) Your representatives answer open-ended questions with one word responses.

The question, “Tell me why I should buy your product instead of the less expensive one across the aisle?” deserves a detailed response. If your trade show staff is unable to respond to good questions from attendees, then they may require additional training and guidance.

8) All eyes and fingers are fixated on mobile devices.

The only thing worse than a pushy trade show salesperson is one who will not even make eye contact with you. Disengaged staff who spend all of their time on their mobile devices are never good additions to your trade show team.

9) Your booth is mistaken for a complaint department.

Working next to trade show staff who are constantly complaining creates a negative atmosphere. Even worse, negativity among one or two representatives can be contagious. Before you know it, everyone has joined in, making potential clients avoid your booth.

10) Everyone is offering your staff breath mints. When trade show representatives stop worrying about their personal hygiene, your booth can turn into a mini ghost town. Attendees will look for any reason to escape your booth if your representatives have halitosis. Before zipping up your trade show tool kit, make sure to pack plenty of breath mints – and remind your representatives to use them!

Most of the items on this list were written with tongue-in-cheek. But just because the problems seem a bit humorous doesn’t mean they don’t happen. And you surely don’t want them happening in your booth! Trade shows are an investment, and selecting the right booth staff is a key part of the process.

We’ve written several posts on how to train your booth staff, but having them inside a well-planned trade show booth is also important. If you’re looking for help designing your next great trade show exhibit, or just looking for a replacement graphic, our trained support staff is eager to help – call now!