A Trade Show Representative goes to conventions and trade shows. The individual’s main function is to help sell the company’s product or service by acting as the company’s representative in the field. The Trade Show Representative may travel to different cities around the country (or the world) to perform this function.
The Trade Show Representative can have varied responsibilities ranging from just demonstrating a product at the trade show booth to overseeing the setup of the booth, selling a product, and scheduling the manning of the booths. It all depends on the structure of the company. The individual demonstrating a company’s product at a trade show must know as much as possible about that product. The representative usually spends a great deal of time with company salespeople, technicians, and marketing people to obtain this information. He or she also reads all literature and watches films, videotapes, and advertisements about the company.
The individual may make arrangements to have everything shipped to the venue as well as shipped back to the company headquarters or on to the next trade show. The Trade Show Representative may oversee the actual booth shipment as well as all of the equipment needed to run the booth. This might include booth displays, audiovisuals, signs, giveaways, promotional material, literature, and the product itself.
In many convention centers and halls, union representatives must set up and break down trade show booths and hook up the electricity and lights. In other centers the Trade Show Representative has to set up the booth alone or hire workers to do the setup and breakdown procedures.
Depending on the structure of the company the individual works for, he or she may be responsible for making the travel and lodging arrangements for all staff attending the show. The Trade Show Representative also has to do the scheduling arrangements for all those working in the booth. The individual may work alone or may work with other Trade Show Representatives, salespeople, or even company owners and managers.
As rental prices for trade show space are usually quite high, the Trade Show Representative must check that the exhibit promoter has provided all the equipment and space that the company has contracted for. This might include the physical convention-style booth, chairs, tables, table coverings, signs, electrical outlets, and audiovisual equipment. Once the individual has seen to the booth setup so that it is both pleasing to look at and easily accessible for people to come in to talk, the representative has other duties.
He or she must arrive at the trade show before it opens to the public. Once people begin to come in, the individual mans the booth, demonstrate the product or service, and answers questions from prospective customers. The representative often conducts contests to try to attract as many potential visitors to the booth as possible. The individual may also give away promotional samples or items with the company’s logo such as mugs, T-shirts, or balloons. The Trade Show Representative often meets with prospective clients after show hours to explain the product in more detail. Many companies hold informal get-togethers or cocktail parties for potential clients after the show. In these instances the individual is expected either to host the event or to be on hand to try to set up sales meetings or presentations. Some Trade Show Representatives are also responsible for writing orders at the show, while others are just responsible for taking names, addresses, and phone numbers and setting up meetings for company salespeople.
Trade Show Representatives often represent the company on television or radio interview shows in the area in which the trade show takes place. The individual may also do print interviews for magazines, newspapers, or trades at the convention location. After the trade show has concluded the representative may meet with advertising sales managers, marketing managers, or the public relations department to discuss the questions of customers and clients, make suggestions for future trade shows, or find better ways to increase the effectiveness of the booth display and layout.
People in this field must like to travel and not mind “living out of a suitcase.” Stress can be a problem for Trade Show Representatives who are required to sell products or services. For others, however, this type of position offers the individual a different way to work, meet a lot of new people, and travel extensively. Depending on the structure of the company, the Trade Show Representative may be responsible to the marketing manager, advertising manager, sales manager, or public relations manager.
For those people who are just responsible for manning a booth or demonstrating a product, salaries may begin in the $23,000 to $28,000 range. Representatives who have more responsibility, however, may earn salaries of $27,000 to $38,000 plus. Trade Show Representatives may also receive commissions on sales. These individuals may earn $100,000 or more. Employment prospects are good for Trade Show Representatives. Most companies, corporations, and industries attend trade shows and conventions on a regular basis and need people for this position. More openings may be available in areas where larger corporations are headquartered. Many companies also use the services of freelance Trade Show Representatives.
Advancement prospects are fair for Trade Show Representatives. Individuals can move up the career ladder in a number of ways. Many Trade Show Representatives find positions working for trade show companies as trade show managers. Others stay in the corporate world and become advertising, sales, marketing, or public relations assistant managers. There are many jobs as Trade Show Representatives that don’t require a college education. However, a college degree is often needed in order to move up the career ladder. Those considering college should take courses in sales, marketing, business, advertising, English, public relations, and communications.
Trade Show Representatives need to be neat, articulate, and personable. They need to be detail-minded and able to handle more than one project at a time. Since the individual travels extensively, he or she should not mind living out of a suitcase and being on the road for long periods of time. Depending on their duties, Trade Show Representatives might be members of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the American Advertising Federation (AAF), the Business/Professional Advertising Association (B/PAA), or the Association of National Advertisers, Inc. (ANA). Individuals may also be members of associations specific to their industries.
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Note: This article was sent to us by: Randy Hallen at 03282010
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