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”

Susan Friedmann
For 25 years, Susan Friedmann, The Tradeshow Coach, has helped companies ramp up their trade show results with her unique ExhibitSmart (TM) Training System. International best-selling author of "Meeting and Event Planning for Dummies," "Riches in Niches: How to Make it BIG in a small Market," and many other titles.

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