You’ve spent a lot of time and effort on an upcoming trade show. You’ve updated your display, paid for a prime location, and invited customers to your booth. And you’ve done everything you can to ensure a successful show—almost. Have you considered who should work trade shows as well as who shouldn’t?

None of your preparation will matter if you have the wrong personal representing your organization. Think I’m exaggerating? Walk a show, any show, and tell me what you think of the booth staffing for the majority of the vendors. I’ll wager you’ll see a lot of staffers sitting in the back of their booth tapping there phones. At least that’s what my wife and I experienced at a recent show. Check out our less than inspiring afternoon at a show, How to Engage Prospects at a Trade Show.

Top Ten Best People to Work Trade Shows

Someone in good health

Working a show means standing on your feet at the front of the booth greeting visitors. It doesn’t mean sitting down all day because of sciatica, allergies, or flu.

Cheerful, happy people

Don’t bring any sourpusses or grumps. Bring folks who know how to smile and mean it.

Not tied to their phone

If someone can’t live without checking their phone every five minutes let ‘em check it. Just not at your booth—leave them at home.

 A hard worker who works well on their own

If someone is lazy at the office, they’ll be lazy at the show, and do you really need someone in the booth that you have to tell what to do every 10 minutes?

An employee who understands your business and culture

I once stopped at a booth and asked a simple question, what’s your delivery time, which no one on the staff could answer, but I was given a brochure. Really?

An outgoing, personable teammate

You need people staffing your booth who aren’t afraid to talk to strangers. A shy introverted team member isn’t going to suddenly change because they’re working the show. How to Speak and not Speak at a Trade Show.

An employee who dresses professionally

Pick an employee who not only dresses professionally but has grooming to match, How to Dress at a Trade Show.

An employee who acts professional

Years ago, working a show for a previous organization my booth partner was more interested in trying to pick up girls than working the show. Sigh…

What’s the number one qualification someone must have to work your show?

They must be someone who wants to work the show. Time and time again I’ve seen employees forced to work a show. Guess how that plan usually works out? Having someone who wants to work the show is more important than anything when staffing a trade show.

Are You Ready to Pick Your Show Staff? 

Staffing your booth with teammates who don’t want to be there, don’t know the product, or who will sit on their phone all day can ruin your show. By taking the same time and consideration, you give to your display or location to your choice of booth personnel you can guarantee a good return on your investment. Who should work trade shows is as critical as what show you should attend.

If you’d like to read more on this topic, go to, TKO Graphix Trade Shows and Events.