A successful trade show means doing much more than simply drawing a crowd of people to your booth. A crowd is great, but a group of the right people hearing the right message is always better. So, it can be a bit of a “chicken and egg” situation: drawing a crowd may not be your specific goal, but you need to draw a crowd to find your prospects. There are plenty of ways to attract visitors, but let’s explore one with the all-important human element: in-booth presentations.
SHOULD YOU HIRE A PRESENTER?
In-booth presentations can be led by your salespeople or upper management, and they can be given to small groups or big ones—it really depends on your message and your goals for the show. But another option is to hire a professional spokesperson to give live presentations in your space to attendees. This means your staff isn’t held up with this task and can focus their time on talking with prospects, attending seminars, or scouting competitors. A professional presenter can lead a scripted session at regular intervals during the show so your booth staff can focus on meeting and greeting prospects. There is a cost associated with hiring a professional, but if it frees up booth staff or draws in a crowd for a big trade show, it could be a worthwhile investment for your company.
WHAT SHOULD YOU SAY?
While experts can’t agree on its exact length, the human attention span is fairly short—which means it’s crucial to capture attention quickly and have a succinct message in order to make a meaningful, lasting impression. It really depends on what you have to say, but usually a presentation will run between 5-10 minutes long. Not only is that desirable from an attention span standpoint, but also, attendees may be standing and you don’t want them uncomfortable. Think about your business proposition: what problem does your product or service solve? What do you want your audience to leave knowing? How can you make a lasting impression? Once the presentation is over, what do you want them to do next? Answering those questions will help as you write a succinct script for your presentation.
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HOW SHOULD YOU SAY IT?
It is recommended that approximately five minutes before the presentation, the presenter should start inviting attendees to the booth for the presentation. You could provide a countdown on the presentation screen, announce giveaways for attending, or tease the content. Posting a schedule with presenters, topics and times both in the booth and on social media is a good way to build an audience. You may also consider sending or e-mailing invitations to prospective leads that may be in attendance in advance. As always, make sure you prominently promote your presentation on related pieces of content or web pages on your website.
There are several different ways you can deliver the content to encourage interaction, including:
If you plan to hire a professional presenter, consider including a product expert as a co-presenter to offer technical information, share in-depth knowledge, or answer questions. Make sure there is plenty of rehearsal time with the co-presenters so that they come across as polished, professional, and in sync.
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The best way to learn about a product and service is to see it in action and in person. A great example comes from Omron, whose goal was to showcase their leadership in technology that creates harmony between humans and machines. Omron did this by allowing spectators to play a game of ping pong with their table tennis-tutor, Forpheus. Omron was able to exceed all of their show goals including attendance, media impressions, and social engagement. They were also able to take home a Best in Show award from EXHIBITOR Magazine.
This is another hybrid option, where the presenter works to gather the audience, then brings in a special guest, like an employee or client of the exhibiting company. The emcee acts as the “host” while the employee offers information and then the emcee wraps up the presentation and can hand out prizes or invite the audience to tour the booth.
GAME SHOW HOST
This is a great way to incorporate fun and interaction into the presentation experience. The presenter runs the “game show” and uses the audience as contestants. This is a great way to share information about the product or service offering and keep the audience engaged.
Whatever route you choose, a presentation is a great way to make (and leave) a lasting impression.