Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Published on Friday, June 26, 2015

Training Your Exhibit Staff, Easy as 1, 2, 3, 4!

What seems like more than a lifetime ago, there were only three sales organizations in the United States for a revolutionary product, the Nomadic Instand. I was fortunate enough to work for one of them.


Nomadic InstandFor those of you who might not know the history of the Instand, it was the first self-locking “pop-up” style display. In fact, Nomadic invented the portable display as we know it today, and was mentioned in Exhibitor Magazine’s “10 Ideas that Changed the Trade Show Industry, in 2007. But that’s a whole other story.


The Instand was simple. It popped up in a few seconds, no tools, no small parts and best of all, even I could do it. As a new salesperson, I was told to sell simple, even in the design. The big picture/billboard approach was attention-getting and memorable. I liked that. Simple.


Working a booth at a trade show is really simple as well. Maybe designers and customers (I’m not throwing you under the bus, now) try to make too much out of it. I am guilty of it as well. Sometimes you start to over think things and forget to put yourself in the attendee’s shoes. What appeals to them? What are their real needs?


Trade show engagementOver the years I have learned that no matter what your exhibit marketing goals or objectives are, they should be accomplished in four simple steps:


1) Attract

2) Engage

3) Qualify

4) Action


Kissing frogsAbout a year ago, I posted a blog on those steps, called “Kissing Frogs, Finding Princes and Trade Show Success.” It explains and expands a bit on the steps.


In this month’s edition of Exhibitor Magazine, editor Travis Stanton wrote about recent surveys and reports indicating a decrease in staff training expenditures over the last five years, even though exhibitors are relying on trade shows to generate more sales leads. If these surveys and reports are correct, they don’t make much sense. Simply put, to get more leads, you need to have a well-trained staff, focused on the intended goals and objectives.


No budget for training...no problem. Revisit “Kissing Frogs.


Prince and princessLike the original Instand, I believe the four steps of working your show booth are simple yet powerful. Unlike the Instand, these four simple steps are not so revolutionary. I don’t see them as the “11th Idea that Changed the Trade Show Industry”.


Although if they work, you might have found your trade show prince.


Steve Moskal


Keep it simple







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Steve Moskal
Steve Moskal

Steve Moskal

Other posts by Steve Moskal
Contact author Full biography

Full biography

Steve’s journey in the trade show and event world started in 1983 with one of the original Nomadic Display sales organizations in North America. In 1994, he co-founded Prairie Display/Chicago.

Steve was an Allied Board Member of TSEA (Trade Show Exhibitors Association) from 2007 to 2011 and recipient of the TSEA President’s Award in 2009. He also served as Financial Chair of the Midwest Exhibit and Event Professionals (formerly the Chicago chapter of TSEA) and as a commissioner with the Elmhurst Economic Development Commission from 2011 to 2016. Currently he is Vice President of Education for the Addison/Elmhurst, IL Toastmasters Club.

When not working with customers and co-workers at Prairie, you can find him trying to spend more time biking and pursuing other creative endeavors. Steve lives in Oak Brook, IL with his beautiful and equally understanding wife of 26 years, Shelley.

Steve is a graduate of Northern Illinois University, with a B.A. in Journalism and a Fine Arts minor.


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