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The Beauty of Multiple Personalities

Your eye-catching booth, quality products & services, brilliant presentations, and promotions can all be torpedoed by the “wrong” booth staffer. They are the single most important piece in determining your ROI at a trade show.

Ideally, an Exhibitor can match booth staffers’ personalities to their skill sets, strengths and responsibilities within the exhibit space.  Effective management of qualified attendees (booth visitors) is a key ingredient to tradeshow success.  So with the awareness that staffers might have different roles to play, let us also be reminded there is no one ‘cookie cutter’ personality to look for when staffing a booth.

Here is a brief summary of certain personalities you can find at the best trade show booths.


(1) The Warmer Upper

The beauty of the warmer upper is they are able to be totally sincere and welcome people to your booth in a way that is pleasant for all. Their funny and quirky personality quickly cuts through the awkwardness and makes people feel at ease while at your booth. Warmer Uppers may still occasionally tackle prospects in the aisle, but the prospects just don’t mind!

(2) The Detailed One

This person is the master of your products and services. They have a wealth of knowledge and can provide all the information your guest needs and then some.  Beware: Detailed Ones can sometimes forget a cardinal booth rule:  Nobody cares about your stuff – talk to them about how your stuff helps the prospect!

(3) The Passionate One

This individual has a genuine passion and interest in what they are selling or discussing. It is clear that the person is knowledgeable, but more importantly, their excitement and energy about what they are promoting is contagious. Eye contact, charisma, and passion can go a long way. Passionate Ones know that the best way to make an impact and convey your benefits on the show floor is to tell real stories of how your firm has helped real customers.  Any story that can involve babies, puppies, efficiencies or increased revenue is truly heartwarming.

(4) The To-the-Point One

At a trade show, you have to respect a booth visitors time. To-the-Point staffers win over people quickly by focusing on highlights. They utilize facts and data to quickly convey a persuasive message. Guests can be in an out of your area in no time while still taking away an array of valuable benefits.  The To-the-Point personality types also conclude interactions with a plan for the next step.  (Sometimes the plan is “don’t waste my time – you’re not a qualified prospect so let’s just disengage quickly”)

(5) The Empathetic One

Nobody likes to be sold to, but everyone likes to be understood. The sympathetic one is able to do this extremely well by listening, learning, and applying what they hear from potential customers. They are also keenly aware that pain points for the customer are a chance to discuss things further.  Empathetic Ones bring emotion to the booth staff process, After all, it’s likely your product or service is helping address issues they may be having so show them you understand and care! (even if your feet hurt)


Think about yourself. Which personality describes you best and how can you best leverage your employees for a successful trade show experience? Remember, people, respond differently to different actions, and individuals. Make sure your trade show booth has both.

About the Author

Steve Hoffman, President of Skyline Exhibits & Design, Inc. has spent almost 30 years in the selling and marketing of marketing products. Following a successful career in the TV Program Syndication business, he joined The Holt Group/Skyline Displays as a Marketing Consultant, then moved into management, ultimately purchasing a portion of that company. He is the author of "The Reality of B.S. (Big Sales...That Is)." Steve is dedicated to helping his South Carolina trade show displays clients achieve their worldwide exhibit marketing goals while improving their efficiencies, too.

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