How many trade show staff members will you need at your next show? That’s a good question because it depends on several factors. However, regardless of the size of your booth, the number of attendees, and the hours of the show, you should always have a minimum of two staff members. For example, for several years TKO has exhibited at a customer’s regional show in Indianapolis. There are 20 or so providers that exhibit, the booth is one six-foot table with a display behind it, and the show is only four hours long, but we send two TKO Graphix teammates. Here’s why, if one staffer is engaging with a customer the other can assist the next prospect. I understand it’s only four hours long, but in that time a staffer might need a break – restroom, refreshments, or a stretch. Also, during slow times one staffer can walk the show introducing herself to the other vendors. So, always bring at least two team members.

Trade Show Staff Considerations

Size of the booth

As I said, figure a minimum of two staffers, so if the booth is 10 x 10 schedule two staff members, and for every additional 10 x 10 at least one additional trade show staff, but two per 10 x 10 is better.

Size of Show

An old rule of thumb is that 20 % of attendees will visit or at least walk by your booth. Much of that depends on show traffic and your location. However, take the announced attendance (if you don’t have access check the previous year’s numbers) times 20 %. Next, divide this number by total show hours to estimate visitors per hour. (This is only a rough idea because shows have peak and slow hours). The next srep is to guess-ta-mate how long visitors might spend in your booth – do you give a presentation, gather information, show a video, or conduct a survey? For example, show XYZ has 10,000 attendees, 20 % or 2,000 will visit your booth. The show’s open 30 hours which means 67 attendees per hour will visit or at least walk by your booth. Many will only spend a minute or two completing activities such as filling out a raffle entry. However, some could spend 15 to 20 minutes discussing product. For example, if your best guess is the average TIB (Time in Booth) will be two minutes or less, multiply 67 people times two minutes, which equals 134 minutes. Three trade show staff could manage this.

Booth location

The first consideration is where the booth is in relation to the flow of traffic, “Traditionally entrances are a great place, folks are just coming into the show, they’re excited—not burnt out, and they generally take a moment to look around before deciding which way to head. Near exits can be a good spot, but be careful about setting up at the back of the show.”  How to get the Best Trade Show Booth Location for your Buck. The second consideration is exposure. How many sides of your booth are open to foot traffic? I watched a B2C (business to consumer) at a trade show that had two cross aisle ends facing each other. Each side had three exposed sides, in all six total. Each 10 x 10 booth had four trade show staff in the booth, and there were four greeters standing in the aisle holding clipboards – they had it covered.

What’s Your Formula? 

The above formula isn’t perfect but if you take the time to consider show attendance, size of your booth, location, show hours, and time spent with each visitor, you’ll have a good idea of the trade show staff you’ll need. I know this next statement is easy for me to say because I don’t pay your bills, but when in doubt err on the side of too many trade show staff. It sure beats missing a valuable prospect because your only staffer was on break.

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