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Your Trade Show Booth Staffers Are Animals

May 10, 2015

By Mike Thimmesch  

Ever hear someone say that trade shows are a zoo? Or perhaps a jungle? Then there should be lots of animals at trade shows, especially staffing the booths.

In that vein, here are 12 animals that your booth staffers might act like. Some are good, some not so much. See if you can recognize anyone from your team in this marketing menagerie:


This tall flightless bird is known for burying its head in the sand when scared. Do you have staffers that similarly get so scared of engaging attendees that they’d put their head under the carpet if they could?  Ah, you’ve got an ostrich.


They’ve got a mane of great hair, and they’re known as the king of the jungle.  But the male lion actually spends most of the day lounging around, letting the lioness do nearly all the hunting. Does that sound like any of your heavy-hitter sales people that merely pose in your booth, acting like they are above the hard work of taking leads?


Female kangaroos have a pouch in front to hold their cherished babies. So what kind of booth staffer would be a kangaroo? Well, have you ever seen salespeople try to pocket a lead from outside their territory rather than put it into the lead slot? That’s marsupial madness on the show floor.


In autumn, the threat of oncoming winter inspires squirrels to ceaselessly gather and store food. They know they have only so much time left, and they use it wisely. Booth staffers would do well to emulate the same work ethic to persistently gather leads during the few show hours they have before the show closes for the year.


Man’s best friend can be an asset when the man (or woman) you’re trying to befriend is the buyer in the aisle. We’re not thinking guard dog here, we’re thinking always happy and smiley Labrador retriever pups. Friendly, approachable booth staffers are a must-have if you want to project a welcome environment in your booth.


As in “stubborn as a mule.” A booth staffer acts like a mule when they bray to another staffer or into the phone, “Trade shows don’t work!” while they sit off to the side. They are too stubborn to risk learning how to truly engage attendees, or alter their presentation for different attendee types.


Like a raccoon, do you have nocturnal booth staffers that want to party all night, and then sleep all day?  These raccoons miss their booth staffing hours, or if they do show up, they waddle around the booth with dark sleep rings around their eyes.


It is impressive to behold a glittering school of fish that travel together and turn left and right as one.  However, if your staffers stay bunched together like a school of fish, they put up a barrier to entering your trade show display, and also can fall into the trap of talking with each other instead of engaging attendees one-on-one.


Frogs are amphibians that can adapt and thrive on both land and in water. Prized is the booth staffer who is an excellent sales person in the field, but can also adapt their selling method to the unique environment of the trade show.  


A bear is a big, powerful animal that should add considerable strength to any team. But just as a bear hibernates through the winter season, you don’t want a booth staffer that gets so tired they sleepwalk through a quarter of the show.


Having a wolf in the booth could be a good thing – it’s valuable to have someone sharply focused on hunting for new business. But at a trade show, you should be afraid of a really big bad wolf on your booth staff, because overly aggressive behavior scares away attendees and will starve your business.


Can you picture a goat chewing away all day at a tin can, or an old shoe, regardless of its nutritional value? Unfortunately, your booth staffers don’t have time to waste jawing with a worthless lead. They’ve got to learn to recognize and disengage from poor quality leads, so they can spend their valuable time speaking with more qualified attendees.

Did you recognize any of your booth staffers in this trade show animal kingdom? I hope you have lots of squirrels, frogs, and dogs in your booth, and not so many lions, ostriches, and bears.


Getting Booth Visitors Via Online & Social Promotions White Paper

In this book Skyline has compiled 26 blog posts originally published in the Skyline Trade Show Tips blog. The posts combine information about social media tools and tactics, pre- and at-show promotions, digital marketing tools and general marketing tips.

From experienced trade show consultants, traditional marketers and digital marketing practitioners, these authors know Trade Shows and how to leverage modern marketing tools to help draw new and returning visitors to your trade show or event.

Trade Show Lead Generation, trade show exhibiting, BOOTH STAFFING
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