The Teamwork Alphabet
By Susan Friedmann
Dec 28, 2007 - 8:31:00 AM

What differentiates a great trade show exhibit from a so-so one? The booth staff! The best displays are manned by a coordinated team working together to ensure the exhibit's success, rather than a haphazard handful of employees who happened to be available that week. How do you transform your staff members into a strong team? Just remember your ABC's.

A: Assign creative, intelligent, and enthusiastic people to trade show duty.

B: Begin early to be adequately prepared for the show.

C: Create goals and objectives for the show.

D: Determine benchmarks for the show, both for individuals and for the entire team.

E: Establish a time-frame for each of the benchmarks.

F: Find ways to make the trade show fun and exciting for all staff members.

G: Get upper management involved to make the show a success!

H: Highlight each team member's strengths with appropriate job assignments.

I: Identify how team members can support each other to reach team goals.

J: Justify all trade show activities, are they helping your team achieve their goals?

K: Knock off any practices or behaviors that keep your team from succeeding.

L: Last minute contingencies require advance planning and coordination.

M: Maintain a chain of command. Every staff member needs to know who is in charge.

N: New ideas are valuable: Encourage, capture, and implement the best.

O: Open your mind to creative, innovative displays and approaches.

P: Plan how to convey essential information and skills to your staff members.

Q: Question your staff. What do they know? What do they need to learn?

R: Recognize the need for training. Ensure your staff is adequately prepared.

S: Success is quantifiable. Decide how you will measure yours.

T: Time tables and schedules help keep the team on track.

U: Understand what kind of teamwork will be necessary to put on a top-notch show.

V: Vying for prizes motivates many staffers. Offer great rewards as incentives.

W: Watch out for trouble: Identify where the project can go wrong and plan accordingly.

X: Examine the decision making process: Is it clear and efficient?

Y: Yes men don't help: Encourage independent, autonomous capable staffers.

Z: ZZZZZ: Trade shows are very long. Adequate rest before the show is imperative!

Written by Susan A. Friedmann,CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, Lake Placid, NY, author: "Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies," working with companies to improve their meeting and event success through coaching, consulting and training. For a free copy of ExhibitSmart Tips of the Week, e-mail:[email protected]; website:

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