trade show staffing

Tips on Effectively Staffing Your Trade Show Booth

The Importance of Effective Trade Show Staffing

Trade show season is upon us in all major North American cities. From New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles to major cities north of the border, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. Companies preparing for a dynamic trade show tend to focus on having engaging give-aways, modern signage and branding, well-designed booths and marketing material to provide your visitors. The one component that ends up in the oblivion: your trade show booth personnel.

Recruiting and hiring professional brand ambassadors are paramount to successfully market your product or service at a trade show. Regardless of industry. Whether you are in the home improvement, automotive or alcoholic beverage industry, the trade show booth personnel promoting your product and engaging with attendees are critical! Brand ambassadors are highly trained in the art of establishing relationships that turn prospects into leads and then into buyers, and personifying your product’s quality and image.

You do not want just anyone manning your exhibit. Buzz Promotions strongly encourages companies to staff their booths with the best talent you can find. Smart, articulate and charming trade show brand ambassadors that can learn your business quick – a skill that not all people can quickly adapt to.

In order to truly execute an effective trade show marketing initiative, efficient staffing is key. However, in order to properly execute a marketing campaign, and launch your brand to the next level, you need a reputable marketing team behind you! Buzz Promotions takes the time to review each client individually and believes in your product (and ours), has superior communication and customer-service skills, and fully understands your objectives.

Helpful Tips on Choosing the Ideal Trade Show Booth Personnel

We do not recommend using volunteers to execute your trade show personnel. Trade show brand ambassadors have extensive training on experiential marketing and trade shows, products, goals, target audience and an effective and engaging approach. Here are some tips for effective trade show staffing, and creating a Buzz for your brand.

  • Your trade show booth personnel must be friendly, lively and fully engaged in your company’s products and services. All brand ambassadors must be dressed to impress and well groomed. We ensure our roster shows up to all events in a professional manner.
  • Basic on-site training for trade show staffing is mandatory, including a detailed guideline and script on how to educate the public about your business.
  • Greet ALL attendees quickly and confidently. Have trade show personnel introduce themselves with a one-minute overview of your company and its benefits, ask questions to find out if the visitors are in fact your target audience, then spend another 30 seconds giving details on products or services and getting visitor information to ensure easy post event follow-up.
  • Ensure all expectations are clear prior to your personnel arriving on-site. This includes brand ambassador dress codes, when to arrive, how long they’ll be required to work the booth, proper trade show etiquette (i.e. no eating, drinking or sitting down). Not 100% sure how to assess your needs? Buzz Promotions has you covered!
  • Don’t understaff or overstaff your trade show exhibit. Staffing your booth with too many people may deflect visitors who may think your exhibit is too busy. On the flip side, if you under staff your booth, you run the risk of not having enough resources to pitch your business, answer questions, and accommodate breaks.

Most importantly, it is critical for you and your sales team to follow up with leads immediately via phone calls, emails, and  invitations to discuss next steps. Don’t forget to update your website and social media with photos!

Have a trade show coming up? Get in touch with us today for top talent when it comes to trade show brand ambassadors and personnel!

Wanted-Interns

Hiring Creative Social Media & Marketing Interns

Based in Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Toronto and/or Montreal with opportunity to travel.

Are you obsessed with social media? Do you find yourself coming up with innovative ideas every day? Do you dream of working underneath a palm tree and dread the thought of a desk job?  Buzz Promotions is a Vancouver-based fully remote event marketing agency offering a unique summer intern-ship with the opportunity to advance to a well-paid position.  The training provided will be unpaid however we will negotiate a stipend for the hours worked and tasks completed (independent contractors working remotely). We’ve recently re-branded and expanded into Australia so we need someone dedicated and hard-working that wants to learn the ropes. We’re hiring 1-2 social media and marketing interns looking to get their foot in the door of the Event and Promotions industry or who dream of being able to work from anywhere. This internship entails assisting and implementing all marketing strategies essential for the growth of the company.  Our ideal candidate is an innovative thinker who craves learning new skills and takes pride in tackling challenges.  As an intern you will get to work with our director and marketing manager on real projects that will have an impact on us and on you. Our goal is to offer you a well-paid part-time remote position after your 3 month internship is complete. We are not another company looking for free/cheap labour. In fact, if you complete the internship, we will put together a portfolio of your projects that you can use for future endeavours.

Wanted-Interns

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to create a long term social media and marketing plan.
  • How to track social media analytics report results and new ideas to our marketing team.
  • The tools that allow a business to function remotely.
  • How to grow a network through on-line and off-line events
  • Additional SEO and WordPress skills.
  • Inside knowledge of the events marketing industry with exclusive networking opportunities.
  • Much more – you’ll be working closely with our team leaders.

Responsibilities:

  • Maintain and grow Buzz Promotions current social media accounts
  • Recommend and build a company presence on additional social media sites
  • Attend networking events and client meetings/calls
  • Develop and execute marketing campaigns and track effectiveness
  • Assist in writing/editing marketing materials including articles, sale sheets, and presentations
  • Update Buzz Promotions website using Content Management System (WordPress) and SEO
  • Assist in off-line promotional development and marketing strategies
  • Other duties assigned

Skills and Specifications:

  • Current or recent student in business, media & communications, web design  or event planning
  • Highly organized with ability to prioritize time-sensitive assignments.
  • Fearless – not afraid to be a bold outside-the-box thinker.
  • Love for using social networking sites and general.
  • Desire to learn and contribute
  • Knowledge of marketing principles and ability to apply new technologies to marketing principles
  • Ability to solve problems, analyze systems and data and suggest appropriate solutions
  • Highly self-motivated  and able to work individually with direction

If this sounds interesting we want to hear from you. The position begins in early June and ends September 1st.  Applications deadline is June 4th, 2015.

To apply please forward your resume and portfolio/samples of your work to andrea@buzzpromotions.ca

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Experiential Marketing Insider: Why Promo Agency Pricing isn’t Definitive

THE ‘FLUCTUATING’ DOLLAR QUESTION: WHY PROMO AGENCIES PRICES AREN’T DEFINITIVE

As a seasoned Promotional Staffing Coordinator of 7 years, unsurprisingly, the first and most certain question I’m asked by potential and returning clients is “what is the cost?”; to which I am unable to provide an immediate answer in most cases. It’s an answer that will determine the outcome of our business partnership, and yet the topic of pricing has become increasingly complicated due to the saturation of promotional staffing market. To operate within the given marketing budget, most clients are likely asking this same question to several promo agencies. However, it’s as ambiguous as going to five different restaurants and asking “how much is your food?” and just as ill-advised as to go with the lowest bidder.

This is very much an industry where you get what you pay for. Many promotional representatives and brand ambassadors simultaneously work for multiple agencies as sub-contractors. The agency that provides its clients with the lowest bid will, in turn, offer the lowest wages. When wages decrease, so do the staffing pool and quality of staff. The highest-performing staff will likely pursue a higher paying job either by another client, or with another agency. In fact, there are agencies offering beautiful, experienced promotional staff and sending out inexperienced retirees in their place. These are the agencies who have undercut their competition and are now providing nothing more than then first respondent of a classified ad on their clients behalf.

Generally speaking, promo staff prices in Canada are in the $30-$40/hour range (fees included). To best execute your experiential marketing campaign, I will require specific details to negotiate and to provide an accurate quote for your business. Before you book your first promotional agency, here are some essential variables that will influence promo staff prices:

  • Most importantly, please give me an idea of the budget you’re working with. So many times I’ve spent hours liaising with potential clients, trying to come up with a fair price for their request, only to find out in the end that their budget wouldn’t even cover my costs, let alone time.
  • Where is the event? Rate range varies from region to region. Rural areas are far more difficult to staff and often require paid travel.
  • What time is the event? If it requires driving at 3 am, chances are there will be a travel per diem.
    Is it a private event and if so will it be held in a private residence? This doesn’t come up too often but sending brand ambassadors to residential events comes with a lot more hesitation. We usually require a minimum amount of staff for safety reason, pay them slightly more and ask for 100% upfront.
  • What are the uniform/outfit requirements? Bikini-clad roller-skating servers are going to be paid significantly more than street teams in jeans and branded tops. Mascots will also be compensated differently.
  • What is the total number of hours/staff? There is definitely some wiggle room if you’re booking 100 hours but my business and my staff will suffer when I start to discount 10 hour contracts.
  • Are you willing to sign an agreement right now, well ahead of time? If so, I’m happy to negotiate. Last-minute staffing requires tight deadlines and subsequently more work.
  • What payment terms work for you? If a lower-than-average rate has been negotiated, payment will almost definitely be expected upfront and/or immediately following an event.

For on-going agreements such as tastings, demos and street teams, here are some other details to consider:

  • How many shifts/hours/staff per week or month will you be booking? This can be a ballpark answer but this information is imperative when deciding or negotiating a price.
  • Will you require product financing?
  • Will you require training, materials and/or delivery? These are additional costs to be considered.

To provide your business with the best quality of service that suits your budget, a promotional agency needs to compensate our staff fairly. In order to stay competitive, most agencies choose not to disclose general prices on their websites and discuss rates by negotiation. If you are seeking out multiple agencies, it is the best to approach the matter in an ethical and transparent manner. If you come across a competitor offering a similar solution at a close price, please let me know. I’d love to match their rate or work with you to improve the original terms/services. Shopping around becomes detrimental if a client is considering price as their only basis or creating a bidding war – something I’ve seen happen and seen falsified many times in my career. When you have two or more agencies undercutting each other to obtain the contract, everyone involved suffers the consequences.

Please help us find a detailed solution that you will be satisfied with while remaining mindful of the expenditures, pressures, risk and diligent effort we take on in order to fulfill that satisfaction.