If you are a regular reader of the eventeem blog, you may remember an article we wrote a few months ago about choosing the perfect team for your event.
We looked at how important it is to consider the personalities and interests of your promotional staff before matching them to the perfect event. Your promotional staff, or brand ambassadors, should represent a personification of your brand, and are quite often the first point of contact for many a consumer. It is therefore vitally important that you not only choose the right people, but that you also ensure they are connected to the product they are promoting and are singing from the same song sheet in terms of your brand values and key messages.
It is not enough to send a half-hearted brief and hope for the best. Well-briefed and experienced promotional staff can determine whether or not your activation is a success and whether or not you achieve your objectives, so don’t be tempted to feel that your job is done once the staff are booked. Here are some tips that eventeem regularly refers to when putting together our training sessions:
1. Tell your story
If you want your promotional staff to engage your target audience, then it is essential that you engage them first. Every brand has a story and every company has a history; be sure to share this with your promotional team! Perhaps your company has an interesting start-up story, or has undergone a number of unexpected turns and twists? Let your staff know where your business or brand came from and this will encourage a deeper affinity with your company and an increased level of employee engagement. It’s also really useful information that staff can impart to consumers during conversation.
Everyone likes to have a purpose and that goes for promotional teams too, so enlighten them with the bigger picture and explain the reasoning behind your experiential campaign. If the activation is part of a wider marketing campaign then include this information in your training; it’s important for staff to understand where they fit in, and encourages increased team spirit.
2. Set out your expectations… clearly
Your team will only be in a position to achieve your goals and meet your expectations if your objectives have been communicated to them clearly, and from the off. Make sure that you advise on any targets you may have in mind, keeping your staff motivated and giving them an overall goal to work towards.
Make sure that you discuss any reporting requirements with your event manager, and if you have a report form for them to complete (we’d advise that you do supply this), make sure they have access to it before the event so that they know what feedback and data they need to gather. Similarly, if they need to take photographs, be sure they are fully prepared to do so.
Don’t forget to be clear about what you would like your team to wear, and tell them about any uniform items you may be providing on site.
3. Keep it simple and don’t neglect the details!
Don’t forget that promotional staff are generally representing a number of different brands each month so make sure that your training brief is concise and digestible. Why not provide them with a one-page cheat sheet which they can take with them to the event to refresh their memory if they need to. It’s not advisable to ask your staff to learn an entire script, but be sure to include some easy-to-learn key messages or phrases which you’d like them to include in their dialogue.
You may think it goes without saying that your staff know the basics about your event – where it is, on what date and at what time – and the chances are they do. But never underestimate the importance of double checking. Since they are working for other companies, potentially either side of your event, there is increased opportunity for confusion.
4. Outline social media policies and confidentiality requirements
You probably have a social media policy that your office staff must adhere to, but have you considered if you would like to extend this to your promotional team? Every company has different rules about what staff can disclose on their personal social media accounts in relation to their employer and customers, so it’s important to be completely clear about what staff can and can’t say about your brand and the event they are working on.
You may even want to consider asking your staff to sign a non-disclosure agreement; particularly if the event or its guest list is of a confidential nature, or is perhaps a new product launch.
5. Make it fun and interesting!
It is so important to make the training session fun! Promotional staffing is a competitive industry with agencies not only competing for business, but also for staff too. Promotional staff naturally perform better for agencies that they like, and that treat them well, and the enjoyment-factor plays such a huge part in that. It’s fine to be friendly and informal, whilst still maintaining professionalism.
Make sure you do a run through of the activity including the set-up and pack-down of the event stand. Get the entire team involved in this and why not conduct some role play activity. Finally, immerse your staff in the experience by holding a tasting session or allowing your team to trial your product.
6. The importance of timing
As we’ve already touched on, these promotional staff represent lots of different brands. So make sure you arrange your training session no more than a week (ideally 48-72 hours) before the start of your campaign. That way you can be sure that your brand information and the details your staff need are fresh in their minds when your events go live.
7. Gather good feedback
Your promotional staff are the on site event experts so use their knowledge and suggestions to improve your next event. You are after all paying for their expertise so use it wisely. Furthermore there is nothing more motivating than being appreciated – respect your brand ambassadors and they will in turn do a great job for you.