A common trap that booth staff makes is giving booth visitors too much information. They are already overloaded with information and don’t want more. Your presentation should be long enough to whet the visitors’ appetite and to achieve your exhibiting objective. Creating a presentation that whets their appetite and addresses issues that are relevant is the key.
While a show is a great a place to capture a visitor’s interest, it is generally not the best place for a detailed discussion. In most cases, in-depth discussions are better left to the peace and quiet of a follow-up call or visit.
A good presentation should take from one to seven minutes, depending on your objectives. If the objective is to generate leads for post-exhibit follow-up, then the presentation can be shorter. If the objective is to obtain an order immediately, then the presentation might even exceed the seven-minute limit. One to seven minutes may not seem like much time, but a well-structured presentation can cover a lot of ground in a short time. Develop a presentation that your staff can use that will work within their time constraints.
According to psychologists, the human brain can remember seven pieces of information at one time. Tell visitors too much, and the chances that they will remember all of it are slim. It is better to introduce the key elements and leave them wanting more in a follow-up visit. The trick is to decide which key elements to include.
In order to keep you focused, memorize my presentation mantra and before you speak, play it through in your head. Here it goes:
Tell visitors what they want to know rather than what they need to know.
What visitors want to know comes from their perspective. These wants were uncovered during the information-gathering process. If you are not sure what they want to know – ask them. Use questions like: "What are you looking for in a supplier?", or "How can this new piece of technology best serve you?"
What visitors need to know is from your point of view. The visitor will ultimately need to know everything, but not now. In most situations, if the visitor leaves your exhibit remembering that you have a viable solution, you have done your job.
To create the booth presentation you will want to develop an analysis of the potential audience. This will include a description of the most likely visitors and what these people will most likely be interested in - what they want to know.
This simple exercise should be part of your pre-show planning and it will help your entire booth staff focus on the individual needs of their visitors rather than looking at everyone as one homogeneous group.
The quality of your presentation is what separates the pros from the amateurs. At your next show make sure you leave the visitors with the right message.
About the Author:
Barry Siskind, President and Founder of Internationals Training and Management Company. Barry is a consultant, speaker and internationally recognized expert in trade and consumer shows. Barry is an active member of the Canadian Association of Exposition Management (CAEM), the Centre for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), the Trade Show Exhibitors Association (TSEA) and International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE).