How to give a presentation at a conference booth at Web Summit
Daniel Glickman, CMO at emaze.com and veteran Web Summit presenter explains.
This November, the Dublin Web Summit conference will host over 2000 startups at their Alpha village. The presentation opportunity for them is significant. For many, this will be the first time presenting in front of a live audience of potential customers. Here are 5 tips to maximize the effectiveness of your presentation.
Decide on a goal – What is your presentation suppose to achieve?
You may want to make a sell, get many signups or just meet with journalists. You can’t do them all, so decide first which are you going for. Everything else depends on it. Typical cost of presenting at a trade show adds up to several dollars per booth visitor (sometimes much more) so, be realistic with your expectations.
Your goals should also match your logistic abilities and budget. To get 3,000 signups you will need a larger staff, which means more money. Think, how many people can you convert in one hour and multiply that by the number of active staff members.
Start the show way before you start your presentation.
By the time someone arrives at your booth and you are ready to give your presentation, they should ideally already have some sort of relationship with you, your product, and your brand. Here are some ways you can achieve this:
Before the conference starts:
- Get a list of attendees from the conference website (Or email them and ask for it).
- Connect with attendees on LinkedIn
- Send a personal email explaining that you will be presenting at the conference and what they should expect by visiting you.
- Place targeted ads on Google, Facebook and Twitter.
- Prepare some peripheral content specific for the attendees of the conference (White papers etc.) and start sharing them on Twitter with the #websummit hashtag
- Announce prizes that will be available at the booth. People love prizes.
During the conference:
- Spread branded freebies or candies in meeting rooms and seating areas.
- Handout visible accessories (ex. tote bags or branded water bottles) that people will carry around with them.
- Tweet about events that are happening at and near your booth (like who is visiting you etc) don’t forget to tweet about plenty of other useful info.
- Walk over to other Alpha booths and introduce yourself. Leave a small token with them.
- Invite discerning attendees to a beer at one of the pub crawls or organize an evening meetup
What you should take to Web Summit
You will get a very small space, so you can’t bring much with you. But here are some ideas:
- Plenty of business cards. You will need at least 1,000 of them.
- Three sets of shoes. This is my secret weapon for being on my feet all day – it’s not as easy as it looks but wearing a different pair each day makes it a lot easier.
- Don’t bring little giveaways. These just get lost in the crowd. If you want to give something – raffle off something big at the end of the day.
- iPhone chargers, an outlet spliter and a European power adapter if you need one.
- Appropriate outfits. During the day you will want to wear something that grabs attention (a branded T shirt or a funky costume). At night it will get cold and it will be party through the night. So, bring something fun to go out but make sure that you can carry business cards with you.
When at your Booth at the Web Summit
At the booth you will have very little time with each passer by. Remember, that your goal is to get to your measurable result as quick as possible and then move on the the next person. Once you have collected that lead, or exchanged cards move on to the next person.
Practice your elevator pitch on the way (And please make sure to remove ANY jargon and words like platform). What makes you different from 2,000 other startups next to you? What can you say that the target audience will remember after 3 days of being bombarded with messages?
Triage your visitors
When dealing with over 20K attendees you can’t possibly give full attention to all of them. So you have to triage, meaning develop a system to quickly assess who is a potential prospect and who is just curious. Look at their name badge, pay close attention to their questions. Triage should take just seconds, not minutes. Then find a nice way to let them go if they are not of interest to you. Harsh? Yes, but also very effective.
With one laptop, an iPad and less than one minute to get an initial impression you need to focus your presentation. A slideshow can really help focus your message. So if you have a really complex product use a snazzy presentation software like emaze to show strategic screenshots, testimonials and highlight your unique selling proposition. Make sure to include a lot of motion and color in your presentation design. Make sure to have a presentation ready for every persona type you cater to and one that’s designed specifically for journalists.
It’s good to handout something to let them remember you by. Forget about pens, candies and USB sticks that end up in the trash and think about something useful that they will want to keep. If such a thing is too expensive for you then buy a small amount of more expensive handouts that you will only handout to those visitors that you identified as high value (such as those with a certain position or those who expresses real interest in your product.
Web Summit does not provide the bar-code readers to capture visitors contact info so you will have to do this yourself. Placing a fishbowl for business card drop-offs is a classic that works really well. Make sure to keep a notepad and pen handy to write down the contact info and any accompanying notes.
Web Summit is one of the most amazing conferences out there and the night summit is incredibly fun. It’s very tempting to drink too much. But be careful, there is nothing worse than a presenter who drank too much the night before.