5 Things You Need to Know Before
Hiring a Trade Show Presenter
by Steve Multer
Aug. 25, 2017
For many marketing or event managers the decision to include a theater in their trade show booth is a challenging and important first step to increased brand message communication. Along with potential for bigger show impact, greater differentiation, and increased quality leads comes higher budget and added complexity. The payoff can be powerful, but only if done correctly. Step one is choosing the right professional trade show presenter to support your marketing and product teams before, during, and after the event. Here are 5 things you need to know before making that important hire.
1. Choose a full time, dedicated expert spokesperson
The best in the business are dedicated to the business, speaking at trade shows, hosting conferences, emceeing events, and representing the world’s most powerful brands most every week of the year. This is the face and voice you want representing your company. Ask for a resume of recent work only, and pay close attention to every candidate’s demo videos to assure live spokesperson services is their true stock in trade. Part-time presenters and hostesses are standard local agency fare, frequently actors or models looking to make extra cash on the side while they wait for their big break on stage or screen. Stick to the super pros and they’ll give you the highest potential ROI.
2. Your speaker should deliver value before, during, and after your event
The right speaker to deliver your message at a conference should also offer solid, trustworthy expertise prior to and following the event. Pro presenters live in the trade show trenches week after week, speaking in all
situations for every type of client and delivering an astonishing variety of messages. They know what works and what doesn’t, what’s likely to deliver success or disappointment. Hiring the right trade show presenter means securing vast knowledge that can be leveraged for valuable input on booth design, traffic flow, scheduling, giveaways, brand effectiveness, even offer added vendor recommendations to increase your odds of overall booth success. Following the event, your presenter should offer their seasoned feedback on what worked well and brainstorm avenues for improvement at subsequent shows. Hiring a trade show presenter is a big step; get the most from your investment by hiring more than just a pretty face and voice.
3. Adaptability and real-time adjustment are key
Any speaker can learn a script and deliver it multiple times per day in
your booth. The best trade show presenters do so much more. They pay attention, watch your audience and flow of the show floor, adapt in the moment, and constantly adjust both the message and their delivery in order to increase attendee response and create messaging awareness. Hiring a strong spokesperson means hiring the person who gets to know your brand and learn your solutions well enough to deliver that content in multiple ways on a moment’s notice. Great presenters work with their clients and sales teams to hone and shape the message mid-show, sometimes rewriting or editing slides on the fly in order to build roads to success.
4. Understand what you’re paying for and why
Sticker shock can be very real the first time you hire a professional trade show presenter; they’re not cheap. If they are cheap, you’re likely facing a penny wise-pound foolish option. Budgets are tight, but nothing has
better potential for payoff than the right spokesman to welcome your audience, make them feel special, heard, and appreciated, and to build greater connection between attendees and your brand. Don’t skimp. When selecting between multiple proposals, if one is considerably lower than the others there’s a good reason, usually a lower quality speaker who’ll deliver less value and limited results. Be prepared to spend wisely but realistically and the cost/benefit ratio will prove a worthy investment in measurable event success.
5. Ask around before hiring the face and voice of your brand
You’d never onboard an employee without interviews, a background search, and proof of value; you want to hire your trade show spokesperson based on the same careful criteria. After completing your initial research, check with colleagues, associates, and fellow marketing professionals to see if your choice is a recognizable, in-demand speaker on the trade show circuit. Show them a photo or videos to see if they recognize the professional you’re interested in hiring. The best in the field are familiar and popular for good reason; if someone you know and trust recognizes them, it’s a safe bet your added market research will net good results.
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