Presentations and Demonstrations in a Trade Show Booth

Are presentations and demonstrations always necessary?

They take lots of time, and they provide many opportunities to get sidetracked or to embarrass yourself. Demonstrate only what you need to in order to present product details or substantiate a claim. Demos are fun to do, but they are not as important as asking good questions.

Be prepared

Come to the show prepared with a rehearsed, concise presentation that is focused on no more than three key messages, communicated in terms of how it adds value to the customer.

To qualify a visitor, focus a brief presentation or demonstration on an overview of your products and services.

To work with an already qualified visitor, focus the main part of the presentation on what the visitor is interested in to uncover more problems and applications and to move them further along the sales cycle.

Presentation guidelines

Talk about what the visitor, not you, is interested in.

Set visitor expectations on how long the presentation will take.

Have a beginning, middle, and end for your presentation. Use the adult learning theory model of (1) tell them what you’re going to tell them, (2) tell them, and (3) tell them what you told them.

Stand to the side where you can see the visitors and the aisle.

Talk to the visitors, not the equipment.

Stick to relevant information, don’t demonstrate all capabilities.

Sales aids

The graphics and signage in the booth can often be used as sales aids. And visitors will believe the information in a different way when they see it in writing.

Any products on display are great visual aids. Whether they are able to hold them or just look at them, they will help you with your presentations and demonstrations.

Present the “So What?”

Talk about what your products and services mean to the visitor

The difference between the “What” and the “So What?”

“The What”

“The What” are the features of your products and services. What they do, what differentiates them, how big they are, what they cost, etc.

“The What” are the facts, specifications and descriptions of your products and services.

“The What” says nothing about how your products and services bring value to your customers.

The “So What?”

The “So What?”, starts with “The What” and adds some need the visitor has to produce a “So What?” It’s a form of the classic features+needs=benefits formula.

The “So What?,” personalizes your products and services to each visitor.

How to figure out the “So What?”

Find out what the visitor cares about. Their issues, plans, problems, and needs. You do this by asking questions, not by unloading “The What” on them. Here are some general, open-ended, sample questions to move from “The What” to the “So What?”:

“What specifically are you looking to improve or change?”

“What can you tell me about your company and some of the issues your facing?”

“What projects are you working on now?”

“What problems are you experiencing?”

The “So What?,” will be how the features of your products and services produce benefits based on the visitor’s needs.

How to deliver the “So What?”

You need to make the link between two or three key needs that the visitor has expressed to the corresponding features of your product or service that address or meet those needs.

To do this, re-state each visitor’s need and supply the connecting feature one at a time.

You really only need to talk about the top two or three features to sell anything. If you laundry list six or eight or ten features, even if you manage to make benefits out of them, you’re just adding cost and complexity in the visitor’s mind.

Quantifying value is communicated as 1) Increasing revenue, 2) Eliminating some current expense, or 3) Avoiding some future expense.

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