Working in the Trade Show Industry

The trade show industry has become a vital marketing channel for many companies and their brands. Many are open to the public and serve as a launching pad for new announcements, teasers, reporting on quarterly or annual performance as well as the number one way to know what's happening in a particular industry. Hosting an exhibit or press event can make or break how the public as well as vested interests perceive a particular brand-so it's of utmost importance that trade shows go off without a hitch. This is where finding talented people to represent a brand and a company come in. And you need to know what employers are looking for.

If you have the tools, you don't always necessarily have the talent

There are certain skills and talents that you need to have if you're looking to work in this very big industry. Companies need to have the best people representing them, so it's important to know what they'll be looking for. They may have the latest and best looking booth at the show, the one that is completely high tech and interactive, but if the staff running the exhibit aren't knowledgeable about the product or service, it's going to show and people will notice. Some of the skills you need to be working on and later mastering are:

  • Being charismatic
  • Above average Interpersonal skills
  • Thorough knowledge of the company, its products and the industry
  • Articulate and the ability to communicate clearly
  • Enthusiasm and Energy
  • Always be prepared with the ability to follow up with potential clients
  • A talent for being able to plan and organize
  • Loves to travel
  • The ability to meet tight deadlines and work under pressure

While it's common to see these requirements on many job descriptions, they're especially important when it comes to working in this industry. You are potentially representing multi-million or multi-billion dollar brands, so you need to be on point.

Experience can help

There are plenty of other jobs and industries that will share similar requirements from the people that are working in it and you can bring this type of skill set and experience with you when you start in the trade show industry. In fact, having many of the aforementioned skills and talents will lend themselves to a training role that you could acquire in the trade show industry as well. If you can train others to be super stars in this industry-you will be sought after. There will be many areas where your experience can help you build your career.

Opportunities that exist in the trade show industry

So you have the skills and the experience, and you've been training people to run the exhibits, booths and various events that happen at trade shows-what else is there where you can challenge yourself with additional responsibility? Why not consider the role of Event Manager or a speaker at a press event? These roles require even more specialized skills and are not for everyone-it takes a special kind of person that can stand in front of hundreds or even thousands, deliver a presentation and have it still be considered a success. Keep in mind that the role of Event Manager earns a very respectable salary and the work is consistent. You will constantly working to prepare for the next events long before they actually happen.

You can really show prospective employers that you're the one they need to hire in order to add some excellent talent to their trade show team. If you have volunteer experience that you can speak to, this really shows hiring managers that you are willing to take on responsibilities while being rewarded with other types of compensation, such as the knowledge you will have gained from such a role. It shows commitment to the company you've volunteered for, as well as a way to better yourself in the process. If you have a degree or advanced degree, this will only help your chances in the eyes of companies that are looking to hire the brightest. All of these things, combined with the right personality, are what's going to take you far in the trade show industry where you can have a very exciting and very rewarding career.

If you have any questions, please ask below!