I have attended literally hundreds of my client’s pre-show and pre-con meetings. I know what you’re thinking but I am not a pre-show or pre-con meeting junkie – they pay me to do staff training at these things. And I’ve become an expert at being bored but looking interested for hours and hours. Anyway, an area that could be improved at just about every one of these meetings are the product presentations. Often times every product presentation has a different structure, presents different categories of information, and they never tie in their product to anyone’s else’s product.
The real problem is how all this comes across and how it’s understood by the audience; the exhibit staff. There is always a ton of information delivered at these pre-show and pre-con meetings and staff is subject to the classic “fire hose” of information. Yeah, I know, the comprehensive pre-show/pre-con package was sent out to them at least a week ago, but most of the staff walk into the meeting having not read anything. They are starting at zero.
So when the booth’s products and services are presented in varied ways, highlighting varied things, not being tied into an overall solution or message, the audience will retain a very small percentage of what they hear. These retention rates are well-proven. Think teenagers or husbands.
What I think is effective, is when a presentation template is agreed upon and adhered to. The audience will find these consistent-looking presentations easier to follow and they can focus on the pertinent information.
Speaking of pertinent information, when I ask some of the exhibit staff about the content of the product presentations, they roll their eyes and say that most of it was unnecessary to know and only a little bit was anything they felt they really need to know.
So I also encourage any product presenter have their content reviewed by a member of the exhibit staff who will give them their honest opinion. What the product people and presenters think is important may not be to someone in the booth.
This template should help your presenters prepare for their short (five minutes or less) product presentation:
The objective for the presenters is to have the audience (exhibit staff) walk away from meeting:
Knowing who each presenter is and maybe a quick bio of how long they’ve been at the company, what they do, and maybe the color of their couch.
What product or service you’ll be talking.
Two or three key features (why people might want to buy it).
A couple of questions the staff might ask to find out if the booth visitors might have some interest.
To make sure the presenter stay on-time, offer the following guidelines:
You have 5 minutes (or less, not more) for your presentation. We will hold up a sign saying “60 seconds” when you have that much time to go.
State your name, your title, responsibilities, and if you want, how long you’ve been with the company.
Introduce your product (show it if you brought it) or service.
Talk about the top three features.
Talk about why someone would buy it or be interested (benefits).
Offer a couple of questions to the rest of the people for them to use with their visitors.
A well-paced, well-structured pre-show or pre-con meeting can be the positive kick-off a successful show needs. Hope this helps!