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When hiring your booth staff, there are a few characteristics and skills that you should view as pre-requisites for the job. Anyone without these competencies will lack impact in a selling environment as unique as the trade show floor. On the surface, it might feel like anyone with sales experience could be an effective booth staffer. But in actuality, even the best salesman on your team could produce a lackluster result in your booth. So, what characteristics comprise a good booth staffer? Here’s a few.

Approachable and Positive

Members of your booth staff should appear welcoming and approachable at all times. This attribute is critical when it comes to attracting foot traffic to your exhibit. Without a welcoming smile, countless attendees will wander past your exhibit. Keep in mind that not every attendee will be an outgoing, social butterfly — some people may be shy or intimidated by the environment. Your booth talent can draw these people in with their inviting smile and positive energy.


Your staffers should display poise, professionalism, and congruency. They should have a clear understanding of your company’s behavioral and dress code expectations: their outfits should be in alignment to your company’s vision and their behavior should be a representation of your service quality. If your staffers appear unsightly or disinterested, it will tarnish the image of your brand and cause attendees to question the integrity of your booth.

Experts of Social Interaction

More than anything, your exhibit talent must be masters of social interaction. Most people maintain a certain level of social skills — but members of your booth staff must boast communication skills that surpass the average salesman. The expo floor is an environment that is a unlike any other sales setting. It’s fast-paced, always evolving, and unpredictable. Even the smallest hesitance or misstep during a booth interaction will result in lost prospects.

In order to maximize the return on your trade show investment, be sure to hire talent that understand the psychology, body language, and behavioral cues that underly human communication. This will ensure that they have the capacity to attract, sustain, and close the sale with prospects.

Knowledgable About Your Company

You should provide your booth staff with sufficient training, information, and practice time in order for them to succeed at your exhibit. Your staff can only utilize their expertise effectively if they have clear understanding of your company and your specific goals.

What is your company all about? What are your specific trade show goals? By providing your staff with this information, they will be able to use their skill sets to create a tailor-made experience at your booth.

Listening Skills

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” This is one of the principles from Stephen Covey’s best-selling book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. This principle rings true, not only in the business world, but on the trade show floor as well. If your staff is going to effectively attract, communicate, and sell to attendees, they must have adept listening skills.

Not only will skillful listeners be able to quickly pinpoint the attendee’s needs, they will put your visitors at ease. Your customers will feel heard, rather than feeling bombarded by sales pitches and one-liners. This small gesture of empathy can generate a completely different dynamic between your staff and the attendee.