Chad Frank is Vice President Sales, Event Solutions for SmartSource Computer & Audio Visual Rentals. Chad is an innovative sales professional and leader known for thinking “outside of the box” as well as his strong customer service and relationship skills.
Ensure Your Team Is Leveraging Your Event Technology
Like all technology, helping staff learn how to use event technology and benefit from its performance features is essential to deriving a high return on that investment. Regardless of the fact that event technology is rented and used for a short term (the duration of the trade show or conference), it is still important to properly educate and train employees who will be at the event on the technology’s purpose and application.
While it is true that staff may require little if any explanation on some event technology (i.e., lighting, sound and projection equipment, computers, etc.), they should receive thorough training on more advanced technologies such as lead retrieval software, mobile event apps and interactive kiosks. The best event technology providers make it a priority to ensure that their customers understand a product’s value proposition, its performance features and how to best leverage them. It’s important to understand their role and other steps a company should take to engage its show staff on the best use of event technology.
Event Technology Technicians Are Trainers, Too
As part of their role, a rental technology provider’s field technicians also serve to educate their customers’ show staff on the use of the equipment. Rely on these tech-savvy professionals to train staff on the technology’s features and how to utilize them to support various marketing and sales goals.
Consider lead retrieval software. Staff should have a full understanding of its capability for customizing lead qualification criteria, conducting market surveys and even “scoring” leads so they can be prioritized for follow-up. Additionally, they should know of its reporting functionality and how reports can be customized and distributed in real-time or in other document formats for future access.
When it comes to digital kiosks, the training should include their ability to promote branding, convey marketing messages and information, as well as how they can be powered from multiple sources such as a local PC, a network PC or a remote content management device.
These are just two examples, but you get the picture. Today’s sophisticated event technologies offer exhibitors many outstanding performance features, but they’re of little use if the reasons for using them aren’t understood or if their features are not being leveraged.
Demonstrate the Value of Event Technology
The best way to gain full buy-in on the use of a new event technology is to demonstrate to staff how the technology is benefitting them. Often, it is the marketing and sales team members that represent their organizations at trade shows.
Marketing staff wants to bring attention to new products/services, the roll-out of a new branding campaign, etc. Sales staff is there to capture leads, network, build relationships and generate sales. If both groups understand that these technologies clearly support them in their roles, make their jobs easier and provide new and more ammunition in terms of market intelligence, real-time leads, and dynamic, eye-catching platforms to create the sizzle and wow and draw in potential customers, they are more likely to want to know how best to use the technology.
If, after a trade show, management can communicate to the company’s employees key wins from the trade show – perhaps one that resulted based on a fast response and follow-up to a lead captured at the show using lead retrieval software, or a visit to the booth by someone who was captivated by a video display and subsequently became a new strategic partner of the company’s – that really drives the message home.
Cornerstones of Event Technology Employee Engagement
In addition to thorough training on the event technology, education and a demonstration of its value, keep in mind these additional tips for leveraging event technology:
- Be sensitive to your workforce’s different generations – from Baby Boomers to Gens X, Y and Z – and their comfort factor with technology.
- We all know, for instance, that Millennials, our first digital natives, are very comfortable with technology and therefore may require less training than Boomers. Customize training to meet your team members’ different needs.
- Select event technology thoughtfully with the assistance of a customer-oriented event technology provider, one committed to its customers’ full satisfaction and customized solutions.
- Enlist your best, most enthusiastic employees to rally their colleagues and advocate as to the advantages of the event technology.
By following these simple guidelines, trade show exhibitors can embrace the market’s best event technologies and truly derive the highest return on their show investments.