Staffing your exhibition stand is something that needs a great deal of consideration. It could be that you have a fantastic crew of experienced employees ready to help throughout the event. But will it be enough to cope with the demands of the event? Too few staff and you could be missing out on leads, too many, and you could be overspending on your wage budget.

Then, after considering the number of staff you require, you’ll need to see who is suitable for the job. Do you opt for in-house staff that have great product knowledge, but may not be so adept at presenting or engaging at an exhibition? Or do you instead, opt for exhibition veterans from an agency who have experience in face-to-face marketing but may not be so clued up on your business and its offerings?

Both offer advantages, but both also offer disadvantages that could hinder your attendance at an exhibition. In this edition of our blog, we look at the pros and cons of hiring agency staff for your event.

The pros and cons of hiring agency staff for an exhibition

Your events calendar could be filling up, and some of these sales opportunities could be significantly busier than others. You’ll need to look at staffing levels to maximise sales potential, but also remain within budget. Could you integrate agency staff with your own in-house team? Or will you be best off relying on the experience of agency staff to look after generating the leads for you? Let’s have a look.

Advantages of hiring agency staff for an exhibition

Hiring agency staff for your exhibition can help secure you some fantastic results at the event, and could possibly open you to new avenues previously not explored.

  • Professionalism and Expertise: Agency staff often come with specific training and experience in exhibitions and trade shows. They know how to engage with attendees, answer questions, and represent your brand effectively. Remember though, you will need to brief the agency and the staff you recruit so they share your brand values, have sufficient product knowledge and understand the aims and objectives of your event attendance. Remember this could include pre-event training so factor that into your budget.


  • Flexibility: Agency staff can be hired as needed. Offering flexibility for scaling your team up or down depending on the size of the exhibition and your budget. If you attend multiple events, agency staff are a great way to help you out when you may be thin on the ground at company level too.


  • Cost-Effective: It might be more cost-effective to hire temporary staff for an event rather than employing full-time staff, particularly if you don’t regularly attend exhibitions.


  • Timesaving: Hiring through an agency saves you the time and resources associated with recruiting, training, and managing your own in-house event staff. You will of course need to brief and train agency staff on your objectives and product details, but the skills of exhibiting are second nature to them. This is a skill that requires a particular personality type and confidence. Something that can’t necessarily be trained. Why spend all the additional money on trying to mould your existing team through intensive training and courses when you could have a readymade expert on hand?


  • Wide Skill Set: Agencies often have a diverse pool of talent. You can find staff with specific skills or languages that are relevant to your audience or exhibition goals. You may want some that are more engaging, you might want some that are more tech-savvy, you may want some that have specific industry knowledge. An agency will be able to pull together a collective of people that harness all these skills.


  • More time for your staff to excel where they are best: With the staffing responsibilities for the event handled, your core team can focus on strategy, networking, and other critical aspects of the exhibition. These are the areas where they shine, and removing them from exhibiting roles saves them from being put into unfamiliar territory where they may struggle to work at their best.

As with any strategic decision, there can be some drawbacks that are worth noting before using agency staff.

Disadvantages of hiring agency staff for an exhibition

Whilst agency staff may have great, engaging personalities that can help drive your sales, they may also be detrimental to your exhibition objectives and your budget.

  • Less Familiarity with Product/Service: Agency staff may not have the same depth of knowledge about your product or service as your in-house team, potentially affecting the quality of customer interactions. How many sales could you be missing out on if a member of agency team is lacking enough knowledge to convince a customer?


  • Brand Representation Risks: There’s a risk that temporary staff might not fully grasp or embody your brand values and ethos as effectively as your employees. This could reflect not just on the individual, but create a negative impression of your business’s capabilities to deliver what it states it can. Of course, you will have briefed them before the event but the brief a day or two in advance doesn’t compare to the months or years of daily knowledge your team have built up.


  • Training Requirements: You will still need to invest time in training these individuals about your products, services, and company culture. Think about how much time in advance of the event you will need to spend with them to train them sufficiently. Does it no longer become cost-effective?


  • Cost Variations: Depending on the agency and the level of expertise required, hiring agency staff can sometimes be expensive. This may make other expenses unaffordable so try and find a balance that enables you to reach your goals.


  • Relationship breakers: The team you bring in from an agency may be excellent presenters and enthusiastic demonstrators, but this could all be for nothing. You ideally want to build ongoing relationships and switching team members from event to event could see visitors being presented to inconsistently by your reps.


  • Cross employee difficulties: You may find that you must manage the situation a lot more than you had hoped. Your internal team may work one way and the agency team another which could result in conflict, confusion, or a lack of consistency. Miscommunication could prove to be a huge hindrance unless you give sufficient briefings in advance.


  • Potential for Inconsistency: If you attend multiple exhibitions, using different agency staff each time can lead to an inconsistent representation of your brand. You could have enthusiastic and skilled people at one event but the total opposite at the next. This could translate poorly for your brand both in terms of sales and brand reputation.



Our top tips for hiring agency staff

Agency staff for an exhibition can be extremely worthwhile, you just need to ensure that both you and they are on the same page prior to the event. As you have seen above though, hiring staff from an agency for your event can prove troublesome too. We’ve set some tips below that may help you get the best from agency staff should you need to hire them.

Give thorough briefings: Provide comprehensive information about your products, services, and brand to ensure informed and effective representation.

Check references: Look into the agency’s reputation and ask for references or case studies. You may then also assess the staff that may be sent to you. Some may excel in areas that are more valuable to you whilst others may not bring as much to the business as you had hoped.

Interview staff: If possible, participate in selecting the staff who will represent your company. Learning a little more about them will also help foster a good rapport between you and them when it comes to the exhibition.

Provide training: Even experienced agency staff will benefit from specific training about your company and products. They may be fantastic presenters but if they don’t have the ability to answer specific questions asked by potential clients, you could find yourself missing out on sales or leads.

Set clear expectations: Communicate your goals and expectations for the exhibition clearly but don’t put unnecessary pressure on the hired team.


Whether or not to hire agency staff for your exhibition depends on your specific needs, budget, and the nature of the exhibition. If you do decide to go with an exhibition staff agency, careful selection, thorough briefing, and adequate training are key to ensuring they represent your brand effectively and contribute to the success of your exhibition. Prior to hiring staff though, speak to our team we can help design and build your reconfigurable exhibition stand so you captivate the crowds and generate those sales! We even offer free exhibition stand design too! Contact us today to find out more.