CES, the king of trade shows, will be here before we know it. 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. From booth design to wowing attendees with the latest technology, CES exhibitors continue to up the ante year after year. With these bigger and more immersive exhibitions comes a greater need for experienced and professional exhibition staff to represent brands. Just like everything else about your exhibit, you need to be strategic when it comes to your exhibit staffing. In this article, we will take a 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 sure-fire 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. They can be utilized for a number of 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 a product specialist goes through much more training to become completely knowledgeable about both the brand itself and the product that he/she is representing. A product specialist should know technical specifications about the product, be able to confidently demonstrate the product while relaying key messaging and 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 certain timeframe, and sometimes follow visuals that are being presented simultaneously. 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 for your exhibit outside of the convention center. Here, you can utilize street teams to interact with attendees before they enter the trade show to drive traffic to your exhibit.
Based on your exhibit size, scope and what you are showcasing, determine what types of staff you will need and how many. You never want attendees to feel ignored, so 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 6 weeks in advance of CES.
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 are going to 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 the experience to successfully staff their exhibit on their own. An event staffing agency will have the 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 staff 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 some type of quiz or test to ensure your staff is fully prepared for their role.
Trade shows like CES require highly skilled, confident, and experienced event marketing 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 access to plenty of experienced staff within their internal databases and/or their recruiting teams 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 an amazing booth and an amazing product, but forming relationships with attendees is key. Your exhibit staff should have the ability to not only attract people to your exhibit but also to instantly engage them in conversation. This will make attendees feel comfortable and make them 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 make sure they are knowledgeable about your product and/or industry.
One of your biggest assets at CES is your exhibit staff. With the right people representing your brand, you will experience great success and incredible ROI.
*This post was originally published in November 2018 and has been updated*