If you’ve begun the process of staffing for your next trade show, you’ve probably already noticed it’s quite the undertaking; one made even more challenging if you’re required to travel to the show. Aside from bringing your own staff, there are other roles you might be considering: models, booth hosts/hostesses, speakers and live talent. With any trade show, there are countless moving parts at play. Here are a few tips to help in finding the best staff for your trade show booth:
Go Through an Agency
When you hire a model, host/hostess, speaker or any type of talent through the agency that represents them, you’re automatically given an added layer of security. Because these people are a reflection of their agency — which they rely on for work — you’re bound to hire professionals who are punctual, outgoing, knowledgeable, quick to learn and eager to please. Simply search Google for talent agencies local to the city of the trade show you’re attending so you won’t also have to foot the bill for their travel and accommodations (unless that’s in your budget).
One downside about going through a staffing agency is these performers’ rates tend to be a little more expensive than a someone who isn’t represented by an agency; however, in a high profile event with your brand’s reputation at stake, it may be worth the extra money.
The alternative to going through an agency is to hire your trade show staffers directly — meaning that you contact and speak with them only, as opposed to an agent. Their rates will likely be lower; cutting out the middleman can sometimes give you more control over the situation.
Finding trade show professionals is easier than you think. In fact, there are so many of these professionals it can be hard to narrow them down. LinkedIn is a popular social media platform for businesses looking to hire trade show helpers. This site is specifically used for networking and career opportunities. It also provides you with more options for people to hire independently who have established themselves in this career field.. Other options include websites like 24|7, Tradeshow Casting, Vantage Advertising and Ascent Talent. These companies help connect you with trade show professionals who create accounts on their personal sites in order to find jobs.
Know What to Ask for
To help guarantee you’re hiring the right people, there are a number of things you should ask for ahead of time to separate the true professionals from the not-so-serious. The very basics — and two things all candidates are used to providing — are a headshot and resume. Is the headshot clear and of a high quality? Do their hair and makeup reflect well on them? Does that person look like someone you’d want to chat with at a trade show? They might be the right addition to your team. Really read their resumes. Go through their work history and look for familiar brands.
Beyond headshots and resumes, it’s not unreasonable to ask for professional references. Anyone can take a pretty picture — but how do they behave in a packed convention hall surrounded by thousands of people, while on their feet for eight or more hours?
It’s also a smart idea to ask for video footage. It doesn’t need to be professional; even a quick video the talent records on their smartphone will work. The idea is to see if these people look the same as the person you see in the headshot. Headshots can be so heavily edited that when you hire based off that alone, the person who shows up to your trade show looks nothing like the one in the photo.
Be Clear About What You Expect and What You Offer
Remember that these people are trying to pay their bills, just like you. Be upfront with your rates. Make clear how you schedule breaks and meals, what costs you’ll cover (parking, food, etc.), what company knowledge your trade show staff is expected to learn (if any), and any other details that impact their roles.
Consider the Logistics
If you’re hiring a speaker, they’ll need live-sound equipment (microphone, PA system, etc.); and you’ll also probably want a videographer there to broadcast them on a screen of some sort, and maybe record it for later use.
Are there any concerns about your models’ attire? Then you might want to consider providing them with matching outfits — or shirts, at the very least.
If you’re thinking of bringing in live talent, be aware of their needs equipment-wise. What kind of audio and visual technology do they need? How much space does their skill require? Do they create a lot of noise? Do you need permission ahead of time to bring this kind of talent into the trade show hall?
Your Trade Show Checklist
Maintaining a trade show checklist to help you keep track of the details will make your event planning more manageable. Contact Structure Exhibits today for trade show booth rental made easy.