This year’s Exhibition and Convention Executives Forum (ETCEF) featured a session, lead by Dina Cappiello, Editorial Director & Group Head at Edelman D.C, entitled, “Storytelling in a Fake News World”. During her session, she said, “People are looking for reliable sources. Exhibitions can be a haven for trust. Exhibitions can be a great place for storytelling.”
Here are two powerful ways exhibitors can tell a powerful solution story and build trust at the same time.
I. Let the Audience Control the Content
Instead of a traditional in-booth presentation, begin by offering your assembled attendees a list of 5-7 current industry challenges.
Then allow the audience to vote on which challenge interests them the most. This is followed by a brief drill down on that challenge, followed by an interesting way to solve it. Of course, the solution(s) you outline align perfectly with your own. Do this two more times, and then direct attendees to connect with reps to learn more.
By allowing the audience to control the content, your company is positioned as a trusted source of information, and attendees will feel more comfortable discussing their own specific challenges.
II. Facilitated Demos
Product Managers are extremely knowledgeable about their products, but often find it a challenge to speak in front of a group of trade show attendees. If attendee’s don’t feel they can trust the in-house presenter to deliver the content they crave, they may extend this perception to your overall brand.
A proven way to alleviate this is to implement a Facilitated Demo. A Professional Presenter is engaged to lead your demo(s). They are trained to attract, engage, and hold a crowd on a show floor. This Presenter opens the demo with high-level messaging (pre-scripted), and then introduces your “Expert” (the in-house Product Manager) to conduct the actual demo.
Throughout, the Presenter adds pre-determined comments and asks pre-determined questions, including those most frequently asked by your target audience. This keeps the demo vibrant and moving focused. When the demo is finished, the Presenter manages a short Q&A with the audience, and then closes with a strong call-to action.
The overall tone and execution of this demo is clear, concise, and attendees trust they are in good hands. This trust is then extended to your overall brand.
These are just two ways to integrate proven trust-building tools and techniques into your live events …and it’s never too early to start.
As the saying goes, “Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.”