Archive | February, 2010

Get Your Tradeshow Message Across in 10 Words or Less

Are you part of a unique group who can share what you do in ten words or less?

The one-liner, elevator speech, company pitch, call it what you want, nonetheless, it’s a powerful way for you to deliver what your company does in a short, concise, easy-to-understand format that people instantly grasp. This is an essential tool to help maximize your tradeshow exhibiting.

According to tradeshow research (available through CEIR – the Center for Exhibition Industry Research), you have 3-5 seconds to capture someone’s attention on the show floor. Less time than it took for you to read the last sentence.

The people at Sequoia Capital call it the “one-liner” – a concise statement that tells people what you do.

Google’s head honchos, Sergy Brin and Larry Page sold their idea to investors with the one-liner, “We deliver the world’s information in one click.” Cisco Systems’ Sandy Lerner and Len Bosack used the statement, “We network, networks.”
(Source: “Fire Them Up! by Carmine Gallo)

How about you? Do you have a clear, concise, consistent statement that says what you do, so your tradeshow visitors immediately get it? Realize that people will judge you and you company based on this statement. Within seconds they decide (rightly or wrongly) whether they want to explore doing business with you.

From my experience walking hundreds of shows, and training many hundreds more, I very, very, very rarely hear a message that I truly understand first time around. Most often I’m bombarded with a string of meaningless industry or product jargon, which isn’t consistent. Speak to one booth staffer, I get one message, speak to another, and the information changes.

In preparation for your next tradeshow, work on your one-liner using the following four steps:

1. Make three columns – (1)  What you do (2) Who you do it for (3) the benefits you offer, then list essential words.

2. Start mixing and matching the words until you come up with a statement of ten words or less.

3. Test it out on your mom. If you can make her understand it, and want to use it, then you’ve hit the mark!

4. Revisit your statement on a regular basis to refine, and keep it fresh and exciting.

Check out the new online tradeshow training program - “Jump Start Your Exhibiting Success at Tradeshows & Events”


Prevent Virtual Event Nightmares: How Producers Prepare Speakers, Exhibitors & Attendees

nightmaresOn February 23rd I’m going to experience another first.  Dennis Shiao, Director of Marketing at InXpo, and I will be presenting together at the Virtual Edge Summit, to be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center, February 22-23, 2010.

Although I have been presenting my tradeshow training workshops for over 25 years, and I have presented virtually for many years, I have never before co-presented where one presenter is live at the conference, and the other is virtual. I’m going to be the virtual component for the session Prevent Virtual Event Nightmares: How Producers Prepare Speakers, Exhibitors and Attendees.”

The topic we’re covering is far larger than the time we have to cover it. However, the major challenge to overcome is making sure all players know what to do, and how to do what they need to do, in a virtual environment. Dennis will focus on the technology, or the hardware, and I will concentrate on the software, or the people skills.

The key ingredient for all players to engineer a successful event lies in the simple process of planning and preparation.  Easy enough, yet very few exhibitors really take time to truly understand what this means.  Participating in virtual events means not only knowing, and understanding the technology platform, it also means honing the necessary skills for successful results.

For a speaker this includes knowing the program objectives, audience needs, as well as delivering good solid information.  Speakers who have never participated in a virtual event could experience a rude awakening, if unprepared. Speaking into thin air is a far cry from presenting in front of a live audience.  The dynamics, the energy, and presentation style all come into play.

My recommendation for event organizers is to either do a superlative job of preparing the speaker (if they are not of “prima donna” status, and are coachable), or rather select a presenter with some virtual event experience.  So much of the success of an event hinges on the quality of the presentations, and the information shared.

As for the exhibitors, in addition to becoming familiar with the technology, they need to know what outcomes they want to achieve, set measurable goals and then plan their strategy accordingly.

Hope that many of you can attend the session and the show – it’s complimentary.


7 Passionate Ways to Fall in Love With Your Tradeshows

Let me ask you, are your tradeshows getting enough of your love and attention?
As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, love and affection is in the air, and it makes me wonder how much heart exhibitors really put into their exhibiting efforts.

I doubt that many of you take your displays into your arms and whisper sweet nothings, or gush your loving sentiments.

Chances are quite the opposite. For many companies, tradeshows are viewed as a necessary evil.  You participate because your competition does, and are scared not to, for fear that the marketplace assumes the worst – “oh dear, the XYZ company must have fallen on hard times because they’re not exhibiting.”

Well, my thought is that if you feel compelled to exhibit for whatever reason, you might as well embrace it, and give it all the love and attention it deserves.

Here are 7 ways to help you fall in love with your tradeshows:

1.  Review your show schedule, and make a vow to only participate in the shows that are worthwhile – the ones that give you a certain ROI, whatever that means for you.
2.  Reverse engineer your success, and consider the end result you’re looking to achieve. Then plan your strategy to achieve it.
3.  Fall in love with each show and make a commitment to do whatever it takes to make this union a true success.
4.  Share the love. View each and every show as the best possible opportunity to hug – make a good solid connection – with your customers and prospects.
5. Choose team members (intimate companions) who share your exhibiting passion.
6. Share the essential booth staff training skills needed.
7. Embrace all lead follow up so that your prospect union turns into a marriage made in heaven.

Wishing you a long, healthy and loving life together!