Getting Ready for the Hall
As we get close to Ignite 2017 I’m starting to prepare myself to work on the expo hall floor. Unlike Keynotes and sessions, demoing in the expo floor is a long haul. The demoing is more about quick steps rather than deep dives. Technical issues aren’t as glaring as when you’re under the spotlight, but can still derail your pitch.
The benefit of the expo is the opportunity to meet a lot of potential customers and speak to them face to face. Planning, knowing your product, extensive practice and being comfortable and confident are best demo practices no matter the venue or the audience. But here are a few thoughts on getting ready for the Hall.
- Find out how early you can gain access to the venue and be there at that time. Sometimes this requires special permission, so you should be talking to people about access well in advance of the event.
- While going up the chain to get access, it is also a clever idea to find out who your support contacts are. Who is handling AV, infrastructure, and IT? Know which company is doing what, and if you can, find out who your onsite escalation point is. Once you arrive find and meet your onsite contact and ask to be introduced to floor managers.
- Be friendly, patient, and kind with the support team. Even if you are stressed out. Stress is like a virus in an environment with so many contact points. The professionals will appreciate you learning their names and treating them with respect.
- Be clear with your needs and understand they won’t be able to deliver on everything.
- Prioritize your requests and escalate only the important ones. They have an entire expo floor to take care of, don’t stymie them with unnecessary work.
Remember to bring a supply of tech with you to the venue. Power strips, AV adapters, USB/ethernet adapters, an ethernet, HDMI cords and switches.Have a back up internet plan. Bandwidth can get throttled during peak times. Try to have an enabled hotspot.Take screenshots or have click-throughs ready in case the internet fails.
If it’s your responsibility to ensure demoing runs smoothly, don’t stray too far during set up. It’s important to be present if tech support is trying to help troubleshoot an issue.
Stay comfortable by bringing a jacket– exhibition halls are kept generally kept cooler because of how many people are present. Also, try to wear comfortable shoes and always have water at the ready.
Engage with Your Audience
When the expo hall is open, talk to people for a moment before launching into your demo. Ask them about their business and what tools they use and like. Your environment should be created with short, stand alone demos in mind. This allows you to find out what a potential customer is looking for. You can tailor your click steps to the individual in front of you.
I enjoy working on the expo floor, as it is a wonderful opportunity to interact with people and learn something new. It’s a great feeling to help others improve their business practice and strengthen their relationships with both customer and employee. It is for this reason that I arrive excited, prepared, and patient. Effectiveness is a success criteria for any sales demo but in expo world that means you have been able to forge a relationship and honestly, that makes for a high level of job satisfaction for me.