Tech Tuesday: How to Simplify the Management of Your Exhibitor Staff

It still happens at too many trade shows – long lines at the exhibitor check-in area. In most cases the person waiting is an exhibitor who is registering onsite. In other situations the exhibitor has pre-registered but the badge cannot be found.

stand-in-lineAdditional frustration can be caused if each booth has a limit on the staff allowed. You may have to manually cross-reference how many staffers a company has registered and if that additional staffer is allowed entry. If you do not have cross-referencing in place you may find out after the show that companies have frequently gone over their allowances without additional payment – thus costing you money!

With the right exhibitor management software you can spare your exhibitors long lines while making sure you get all the revenue you deserve. Here are some features this software should have to make sure your exhibitor staff is handled properly.

  • Based on the booth or sponsorship type being purchased online, the software should automatically know how many staffers a company should get.
  • The online booth purchaser should have the option of filling in the names of staff if they are known. If not, it should be okay to leave the names blank.
  • When the purchase is over, each organization should received a “self-service portal” where staffer names can be changed or set at a later time.
  • If you offer the ability to add additional staff, the company should be able buy more at the time of the initial purchase or in the self-service portal.
  • The system should be able to distinguish between different types of staffers such as “Exhibit Hall Only” or “Full Conference.” The software should be able to handle combinations such as 2 Exhibit Hall and 1 Full per booth.
  • At any time, you should be able to override the staff allowances through an administrative back-end. For example, if you made a deal with an exhibitor for a sponsorship, the system should allow you to increase the number of exhibit hall passes in an ad-hoc fashion.
  • All staffers should appear on the attendee lists, with the option of designating them as a certain type of exhibitor registration.
  • The software should allow you to include, exclude or explicitly reach staffers in all Email blasts.
  • Likewise all registration reports should include the staffers, while also designating their exhibitor status.
  • Since the staffers are attendees, they should be included in all badge runs. You should be able to specify their conference status with, for example, “Exhibit Hall Only” or “Full Conference” at the bottom of the badges.
  • One way to reduce lines onsite is to Email blast the exhibit managers in advance to encourage them to enter the staff names.
  • It is unlikely you’ll be able to pre-register all exhibit staff ahead of the show, so your software should make it easy for you to enter staffers for a given booth and generate a badge. Each registration should check for staff allowances to ensure a company does not abuse its staff privileges.
  • Your exhibitor management software should also make it straightforward to change the name on a badge. An audit trail will also give you another way of checking for abuse of the allowance rules.

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