By Lisa Major
CES, the king of trade shows, will be here before we know it. In just a few weeks, thousands of exhibitors will converge on the Las Vegas Convention Center to show off the latest and greatest in consumer technology. And with all eyes on CES, the competition to stand out is fierce. With more extensive and immersive exhibitions comes a greater need for experienced and professional exhibition staff to represent brands.
Below, we will look at the different staffing options exhibitors have, along with a few tips and considerations to guide you through the CES staffing process.
Every exhibitor has different needs when it comes to staffing their booth. Some may only require one type of staff, while others may require more. If exhibit staff roles have you confused, here’s a quick reference guide that will help you determine what type of staff you need.
Promotional models are a surefire way to draw attention to your booth, but they are much more than just an attractive face. CES promotional models must have the ability to not only attract attendees to your exhibit but also interact with attendees while conveying key messaging confidently and professionally.
Brand ambassadors serve as the face and voice of your brand and are responsible for those critical first impressions. They can take on many tasks, such as attracting people to your booth, interacting with attendees, relaying key talking points, lead generation, and so much more. You really can’t go wrong with having brand ambassadors assisting with your booth in some capacity.
A product specialist is like a brand ambassador in many ways but goes through much more training to become thoroughly knowledgeable about the brand itself and the product that they are representing. A product specialist should know the technical specifications of the product, be able to confidently demonstrate the product while relaying key messaging, and have the ability to answer a myriad of questions.
Presenters and hosts can take center stage to introduce your product or service to attendees with a provided script. They must be able to memorize the script, present messaging within a specific timeframe, and sometimes follow visuals that go along with the presentation. Because this is such a specialized role, it requires prior presenting experience, a great voice, and an amazing stage presence.
Street teams can generate buzz and help drive traffic to your exhibit by engaging with attendees before they enter the convention center.
The number and types of staff you need should be based on the exhibit size, scope, and goals. Due to the sheer size of CES, your attendees should never feel ignored at your booth. It’s better to have too many staff than too few.
CES is incredibly competitive, and in order to secure the best event staff, you need to start the staffing process at least four to six weeks in advance of CES. If you find yourself scrambling, be prepared to pay higher rates closer to the show dates.
The success of your exhibit rides on the people representing your brand. With that said, keep in mind the old saying, “you get what you pay for.” Due to the number of exhibitors needing quality staff, the best of the best will go for higher pay rates. Now is not the time to cut corners on your staff rates.
Staffing is no easy task, and you have to think about everything that goes along with hiring staff, like recruitment, interviewing, onboarding, staff management, payroll, HR compliance, and background checks to name a few. Most exhibitors lack the time and experience to staff their exhibit independently and successfully. An event staffing agency will have the knowledge and resources to effectively and efficiently staff your CES exhibit based on your exact needs and wants. They will take care of everything for you, from staffing to training to payroll and everything in between.
Training is an absolute must for your CES exhibit staff. You’ll need to determine what type of training you want to conduct. The more specialized the role, the more training your team will need. You can opt for in-person, online, phone, or video conferencing training sessions. And you can have multiple sessions if needed. You’ll also want to offer a quiz or test to ensure your staff is fully prepared for their role.
Trade shows like CES require highly skilled, confident, and professional event staff. Experienced staff will understand how to work the trade show floor, attract guests to booths, and keep them there. When reviewing candidates, make sure that they have previous trade show experience or relevant experiential experience to ensure you are getting the best staff for your booth.
Partnering with an event staffing company can take the stress of finding experienced staff off of your plate. They will have plenty of professional staff within their internal databases, and their recruiting team will know where to find them.
Connecting with CES attendees in a memorable way is crucial to the success of your exhibit. Sure, you can have a fantastic booth and an amazing product, but forming relationships with attendees is vital. Your exhibit staff should be able to attract people to your exhibit and engage them in meaningful conversations. They will make attendees feel comfortable, and in turn, they will be more receptive to your brand messaging. The more time they linger, the more opportunity you have to convey your messaging, demonstrate your product and collect leads. All of that creates an emotional tie to your brand, which leads to a memorable and impactful impression.
They say knowledge is power, and that statement rings true for your CES booth staff. When hiring people to represent your brand, you need more than just a warm body to fill a position. Your exhibit staff needs to have prior knowledge about the general product or service they are representing. For example, if you are launching a new gaming console, you’ll want staff who are gamers and who have a working knowledge of current gaming consoles. Be sure to do your due diligence when hiring staff to ensure they are knowledgeable about your product and industry.
One of your most significant assets at CES is your exhibit staff. With the right people representing your brand, you will experience great success and incredible ROI.