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Booth Staffing Haiku: 17 Poems For Better Trade Show Booth Staffers

The haiku, a short form poem of Japanese origin, was in the news recently when Sun Microsystems’ CEO Jonathan Schwartz quit (via Twitter) by posting this haiku:

Financial crisis

Stalled too many customers

CEO no more


That news reminded me of some near-haiku I had read recently in an unexpected place.  While reviewing responses to a survey question about booth staffing, I was struck by several exhibitors’ concise, almost poetic language, to the point that they reminded me of haiku poetry.

(In case you don’t remember from school, Haiku are very short, three line poems of only 17 syllables.  The first line has 5 syllables, the second 7, and the final line has 5 more. )

Inspired by former Sun CEO Schwartz, I went looking for more within the survey answers.  While a few could almost stand verbatim, I still made some nips and tucks to “find” 17 haiku about booth staffing, one for each of the haiku’s 17 syllables.

Because so much of trade show success hinges on the quality of your booth staffers, many of these haiku extoll the virtue and nuances of choosing the right staff:

being excited

to be at the trade show makes

a huge difference



once used tech people

we cut that back and now send

sales & marketing



one man one woman

in the booth at every show

when it’s possible



staff who can perform

are able to work the crowd

not the booth work them



staff with the people

that know specific products

for specific shows



to pick our staffers

how they engage customers

handle travel well



technical product

must answer detailed questions

staff with salespeople


Other haiku promote the value of pre-show meetings, and what should be covered at them:


hold pre-show meeting

every morning of the show

outline objectives



offer much info

to each booth staffer pre-show

even for veterans



pre-show meeting share

last show ROI results

salespeople respond



have a trade show guide

that outlines expectations

and where to find things



those working the show

must have a clear idea

what is expected


Two haiku go to the heart of what a good booth staffer needs to do to succeed:


remain attentive

listen to the customer

no email or phones



keep the contact brief

this is not the place to sell

generate interest


Often one finds wisdom shrouded in classic haiku.  These haiku proclaim the wisdom of training for your booth staffers:


with booth staff training

get better quality leads

plus we get more leads



more and more training

product, industry knowledge

assess client need



hired an outside firm

train and monitor booth staff

improvement result


Thank you to those who shared their wisdom that inspired these haiku.  Feel free to share your own trade show haiku in the comments box below.  And I would love to hear if you offer these haiku as part of your exhibit marketing preparation and training! 

To get more, albeit less concise and poetic trade show booth staffing tips, click here to get your free copy of the 48-page Booth Staffing Guidebook.  “many articles / many worksheets and checklists / help you prepare staff”

About the Author

Mike Thimmesch is the Principal at Thimmesch Marketing. For over 25 years, he has created and implemented innovative marketing, lead generation, and exhibiting strategies that profitably grow company sales and brand awareness. Mike rose to Director level at Skyline Exhibits, where he helped generate over a half million leads, resulting in over $1 billion in sales. He published 11 industry white papers and eight exhibiting books, presented over 100 trade show webinars, and wrote over 200 exhibit marketing blog posts.

5 responses to “Booth Staffing Haiku: 17 Poems For Better Trade Show Booth Staffers

  1. Mike, you may have missed your calling!! This is brilliant. Might I suggest that you tweet one of these very useful haiku poems out as tradeshow tips every once in a while with a link to this post, if it fits? You might even invent a hashtag to go with it. I just love seeing such a creative way to effectively get out a very useful message!

  2. Mike, I am constantly impressed with how you always manage to post stuff that is both fun to read and packed with great info. You can tell you love what you do!

    Now maybe you can help me get Jenise bitten by the trade show bug. I mean, events are OK, but trade show people are so much more fun!

    1. Traci — thanks for your note — I’m blushing!

      My motivation is helping exhibitors uncover the best ways to take full advantage of the power of trade show marketing. When exhibitors embrace the tools available to them, they succeed, they return to shows, and we all benefit.

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