Manning the stand

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Mobile Phones - There's a time and a place

Posted on August 20, 2015

Checking our phone for messages, emails, linked in alerts, texts etc. has become so ingrained into our behaviour patterns that some people find it difficult to separate themselves from their electronic life support system. However, an exhibition stand is one environment where we need to hit the off switch.

One of the key elements in attracting visitors is to look welcoming, stand staff looking down at their mobiles rather than at their potential customers sends a signal that says 'I'm not really interested in engaging'.

Once staff are speaking to a visitor surveys show that a pet hate is the interruption of the mobile phone. It's bad enough if it rings in the first place as this interrupts the flow of the conversation whilst you fumble to turn it off. However, in extreme cases I've seen some staff actually answer it, completely alienating the customer.

Best practice is to switch the mobile off or set to silent, preferably switched off because there's always the potential if you feel a vibration in your jacket to lose your concentration mid conversation with your prospect or the pull to just check who it's from. Understandably there is also the temptation in quieter periods to 'use the time effectively' and answer a few emails on the laptop. Again this sends the wrong message to people walking by.

If staff need to use the phone best practice is to leave the stand and go somewhere like the coffee bar where they're obviously off duty. Mobile phones are a great way of keeping in touch however like everything else in life there's a 'time and a place' and it's not on the exhibition stand.