Report Explores What Attendees Want in Exhibit Staff

The top attribute that trade show attendees want in exhibit staff is product knowledge, sought by 94 percent of attendees, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), which yesterday released the fourth in a series of reports culled from its landmark study, "The Role and Value of Face-to-Face Interaction."

The report, "Exhibition Staff Practice Summaries," explores attendee preferences, who they hope to meet when visiting an exhibit at a business-to-business exhibition and the characteristics of exhibit staff that best resonate with them.

Key findings:

• The sales/marketing job function typically represented among exhibit booth staff is well aligned with attendee preferences. Over half (56 percent) of attendees, indicate a preference of meeting with exhibit staff working in this capacity while exhibitors on average have marketing staff/sales staff (30 percent) or management (27 percent) in their booths.

• There is a gap between attendee preferences and exhibitor staffing. Half of attendees hope to meet research and development staff while only 3 percent of exhibitors on average make this staff available. According to CEIR, this data suggests exhibitors may be missing an opportunity to capture market feedback that could lead to product enhancements or new offerings.

"Attendees regard exhibit staff as the face of the company," said CEIR Research Director Nancy Drapeau. "It is their chance to engage face-to-face with the people behind an organization and brand. This human interaction gives exhibitors the unique chance to make a powerful connection that can translate into new business for their long-term success; therefore, having staff with the right job functions, level of experience and demeanor is key to positioning an exhibiting organization for success."