have Millennials as part of your exhibit staff?
They can be great staffers and make your trade shows successful or
they can be horrible and drag everyone down and frustrate you to no
end. Like any other generation, they have their strengths and
weaknesses. So lets dive right into how to work most effectively
with your Millennial Exhibit Staff. And all of this info is from our
live training workshop, Managing Your Millennial Exhibit Staff
delivered at the ExhibitorLIVE! conference in March, 2015/2016.
Take Advantage of Their Strengths
Millennials are great collaborators. They like to work in groups and
with their friends. Millennials work productively with people they
click with. Like their friends and friends of friends. They stay
motivated and interested when the work is more social. Set specific
goals, objectives, time frames, and boundaries, and their
collaborative skills will result in amazing results.
One of the greatest strengths of the Millennials is their sound
knowledge of technology. This can be a serious asset at a trade show
because of Social Media, emailing, texting, etc.
Millennials are doing multiple things at the same time; theyre
on the phone, texting, and working on a computer. Even though some
recent studies have shown that multitasking results in a drop in
productivity, Millennials seem very adept. Trade show managers
should feel free to give Millennials multiple tasks and concurrent
responsibilities - this really fits with the frantic pace of some
Millennials thrive on learning opportunities. They want work they
can learn from otherwise they are quickly bored. A willingness to
try new things is one of their strengths - so challenge them. As the
trade show manager you need to explain that not all of the work at a
show is going to be new and exciting but it all makes a difference.
Understand and Manage Their Weaknesses
Casual approach to authority.
Not understanding seemingly arbitrary rules and regulations.
Texting and emailing all of the time.
Expect a constant stream of feedback.
of casual language.
Rationale or reason for every assignment or request.
Communication Tips for Trade Show Managers
frequently but be brief and to the point.
the communication isnt
quick and to-the-point - even flashy - it wont
time to first explain issues, then repeat the message.
messages through different communication channels; text, talk, email.
Millennials For Your Exhibit Staff
in it for them as a part of an exhibit staff:
Getting out of the
somewhere new and maybe fun.
Learning more about
Meeting new people.
Working with other
Working with their
What traits to look for:
Before the show
live training - trade shows are live events.
the training on:
behavior; being on time, in-booth etiquette, etc.
qualifying visitors quickly and politely.
them do some role-playing in the booth before the show opens.
communicating. Millennials like lots of communication with their
friends, co-workers, and the exhibit team. For trade shows, it will help
build a sense of community and teamwork.
two-way communication by asking for suggestions or preferences. Setting
the precedent for regular communication before the show will encourage
it to continue during and after the show.
Millennial exhibit staff before the show by communicating with them
The expected results
of positive visitor and exhibit staff experiences
How their efforts
will help move the business forward through qualified lead generation
That working in the
booth will expose them to new experiences and new people.
How the skills they
will be taught to work effectively in the exhibit booth will help them
with their careers.
During the show
work well in teams. When the booth isnt
too busy, they can join their colleagues and work very effectively as
team as they talk to visitors. Their shared knowledge and social ease in
these small group settings lead to successful visitor engagements.
trade show manager can facilitate the building of their trade show team
by making time for the Millennial staffers, and others, to socialize
together, have drinks together, etc. Once they bond, they will have each
backs, help each other, and support each other - and all
of this will continue in the booth during the show.
the booth is busy, Millennials can more easily move conversations from a
one-on-one style to one-to-many style. They are less to be intimidated
or hesitant about traditional social or conversational protocols.
communication by having quick conversations should be encouraged.
Millennials are expert texters and are very fast at it, they should not
be using their mobile devices in the booth.
feedback and updates during the show. These can be quick conversations,
texts, or emails.
feedback to each staffer during the show. Millennials or not, this is
always a good idea. If you do not have time to do this consistently,
have another person in authority working the booth do it.
behavior and reward it. The reward does not have to be big maybe just
some Starbucks gift cards.
Send daily emails
before and/or after each day of the show detailing:
Latest lead counts
and how close it is to the goal
observations of whats
Any feedback from
the home office
After the show
Ask for feedback by
sending out a survey.
the show a good use of the companys
What they learned?
Ask them for one
thing they would change next time.
Lead generation -
and anything else you can count.
Success of new
product or service introductions
Ask them if they
would want to work at a trade show again.