How to Motivate Booth Staff

People need to feel appreciated, whether it be in their personal or professional lives. The following article includes some tips on how to motivate trade show booth staff by providing a rewarding experience, showing appreciation and making staff feel valued and, therefore, empowered.

Manning a trade show booth can be a truly thankless task. Co-workers think it’s somehow glamorous, with travel and expense accounts. In reality, though, it’s exhausting, with a lot of time spent on your feet, constantly on the go, and essentially no downtime.

Incentivize Staff

One way to show  appreciation is to “gamify” the trade show experience by creating an incentive program. Providing a sense of achievement and a desire to exceed expectations can noticeably increase staff performance. Rewards can be based on customer feedback surveys or results, such as a certain number of qualified leads. Depending on the group, you could make it a friendly competition as well.

Reward Team Behavior

You don’t want to let competition amongst staff get in the way of working together to achieve the overall goals. Reward both the team and the  individuals so that it’s fair to all staffers. If you reward only the top individuals, some will feel slighted or unappreciated. If you reward the team only, those who work the hardest may resent the “slackers” who didn’t contribute much. A balanced reward system allows everyone to share in the victory, yet those who give extra get extra.

Balance Rewards

A simpler reward program is an open-ended one wherein everyone who meets the goal wins. Achievers at each level are rewarded accordingly, with the biggest prizes going to those at the top level of achievement. This creates a greater sense of equality than programs where only a few people receive awards or everyone receives the same reward.

Communicate Goals

How should a trade show marketer create a successful booth staff incentive program? You have to have a plan with key targets and goals that have been clearly communicated. Programs don’t design themselves, nor are they created in one day. Thoughtfully choose rewards that are fair, get your team motivated by the idea, and you should see a significant increase in your show results.

Just one caveat: Don’t burden booth visitors and show attendees with your contest. They don’t care whether you win the top prize or nothing at all. They only want to know what’s in it for them.

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