Making a Successful Elevator Pitch at Trade Shows

An elevator pitch is a 60-second spiel in which one explains the goals and activities of one’s business while convincing a prospective entity to invest in the concept.  Having a perfect pitch at a busy trade show is a must as elevator pitches communicate critical information in a brief, concise manner.  Coming up with an attention-grabbing pitch can be challenging; however, there are many tried-and-true tips and approaches for producing the perfect pitch.

Making a Trade Show Elevator Pitch a Cinch

What is an Elevator Pitch?

Making a Successful Elevator Pitch at Trade ShowsFishing metaphors aside, an elevator pitch is a brief –no more than one-minute—business description of what you do that also sells the idea of why someone should want to work with you.  The name “elevator pitch” was derived from the hypothetical scenario of stepping into an elevator with a dream prospect and only having the time of the elevator ride to explain your business and persuade the prospect to invest.

Recipe for a Good Pitch

There are a lot of suggestions for having a great elevator pitch.  One great thing about being at a trade show is that the need to be visual is handled by your display.  Of course, this does not mean you should not strive to engage your audience with vivid, sensory adjectives that will make your pitch memorable. Other key ingredients that go into making a great pitch are:

  • Be concise; count on your audience’s attention span waning after 30 seconds.  Get the most important information out up front.  Make sure it is good enough to keep them hanging for the other 30 seconds.
  • Be clear; simple, direct information is much more impressive than any high-IQ vocabulary.
  • Be passionate; enthusiasm in your voice and a smile on your face translate into confidence.
  • Be a storyteller; stories can help explain what you do in a more memorable and engaging way than trying to jam a page of information into 30 seconds.
  • Be purposeful; a pitch with a goal usually hits its mark.

Last, a good pitch recipe hooks the audience but leaves them wanting more.  Think of this as the umami in the pitch.  The pitch is like a perfect appetite-whetting sample, leaving the audience hungry for what you are offering.

Tips for Being Pitch-Perfect

So, the perfect pitch just has to be a clear, concise, articulate, focused, stimulating narrative that wraps up in 60 seconds.  No problem!  Actually, coming up with a great elevator pitch that perfectly combines all of the above-referenced ingredients is easier said than done.    Luckily, there are some tried and true strategies from real-life success stories than can help prospective trade show elevator pitchers beat the heat.

  • Do not wing it.  Sit down and write down the W’s: What do you do; for whom do you do it; why do they care; why are you special; what is your company about? Answering the W’s will help identify the fundamentals about your product.
  • Show, do not tell.  Come up with a quick story or problem scenario that paints a vivid picture of why you are relevant and how you can resolve the issue posed.
  • Evolve your pitch to accommodate the market.
  • Avoid overusing jargon or meaningless buzzwords that serve no other purpose than to sound impressive.
  • Do not dig into the minutia relative to your business; stay high-concept to avoid confusing the audience.
  • Go concrete with information as opposed to abstract to ensure the pitch is tangible and easy to comprehend.
  • Write down the entire pitch and rehearse it start to finish.
  • Record yourself giving the pitch, then, edit it based on what could be better.
  • Trim the fat cutting unnecessary verbiage.
  • Organize and reorganize the pitch until it is right.
  • Practice makes pitch-perfect!

Implementing different tips and trying different approaches is the best way to achieve a successful elevator pitch as there is no “perfect formula”.  It is easy to get psyched out by the hustle and bustle of a trade show; however, being knowledgeable and well-rehearsed as well as confident and positive are the best approaches for accomplishing goals and reeling in potential clients and investors at a busy trade show.

Northwest Creative Imaging, LLC provides a wide variety of trade show resources that facilitate anyone in any industry ranging from medicine to design and innovation to retail having a successful trade show experience.  Dedicated to excellent online customer services, Northwest Creative Imaging helps clients make the best decisions as to which kind of product display (including graphic and web design) to use as a complement to the perfect pitch.  They also provide consultations regarding which event space is the most productive use of the client’s resources. Northwest Creative Imaging is a one-stop-shop for an excellent tradeshow experience!

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