Synch-Up: The GetSynchronicity Blog

Just A Waste of Time?

The flurry of Q1 and Q2 meetings, conferences and tradeshows slows down a bit now as we head into summer. It’s a great time to evaluate and re-tool program components before the intense rush of the fall and Q4. Here’s a list of five questions to ask about the effectiveness of your conference presentations and speaker habits.
1. Steve Jobs is said to have rehearsed at least full two days before delivering a presentation. How much time did you spend rehearsing your last presentation?
2. Scientific studies show that the human brain craves the unexpected. Does your presentation make your audience think?
3. The “10-20-30 Rule” says that a slide deck should have no more than 10 slides, last no longer than 20 minutes and have no less than 30 point font text. What do your visuals look like?
4. The “20-20 Rule” says that a great presentation consists of twenty slides each lasting exactly twenty seconds. That’s another way of saying that if you have something worth saying, you should be able to say it in less than 10 minutes (6 minutes and 40 seconds according to the “20-20 Rule.”) How concise are your presentations?
5. Stories emotionally engage an audience, increase attention and improve retention. Ask yourself: “What is the story that my audience will care about?”
Bonus question:
6. Persuasive presentations have a clearly defined purpose. Without that anchor, it’s nearly impossible to deliver a relevant, effective presentation and the audience almost always feels like they’ve wasted their time. Do you start with the end in mind and define your purpose before you begin to prepare?

Three Tips for Highly Persuasive Trade Show Staffers

It’s a new year. A new opportunity for your trade show staff to enhance their persuasive abilities.
Use these three tips to help your staffers conduct more compelling conversations and win more opportunities. .
1. Understand the prospect’s primary buying need. Ultimately, every prospect is asking “Why should I buy your solution rather than a competitive option?” But the context of their situation will inform the answer to that question. Is the prospect trying to save money? Fix a service problem? Develop a new line of business? Understand the back story and you’ll understand the difference – in the prospect’s eyes – between you and your competition. That difference is what holds value for your prospect.
2. Use opposites to create a lasting impression. Words such as “more,” “less,” “easier,” “smarter,” “faster,” “increase” “and “reduce” create strong comparisons. They help the buyer quantify the differences between you and your competition.
3. Make sure the customer sees himself in your solution. The benefits of your product might be clear to you, but that doesn’t mean they’re evident to your prospect. Always ask yourself “So what?” Communicate the answer within the context of the prospect’s business problem and you’ll likely have a convert.

FYI Zones

When you need to communicate a short but important message to lots of visitors, “FYI Zones” engage attendee interest in a big way.

In “FYI Zones,” professional hosts brief attendees on the important activities and destinations available in the booth. Visitors receive personally relevant education to help them connect with the right demos and staffers. Conversational rapport replaces lengthy presentations. Low investment in space. Big return on engagement and traffic flow.

GetSynchronicity. Connecting brands with the people that matter to them most.

Happy 4th of July

Experience Marketing is Dead. Long Live the Experience.

Last week I heard a discussion leader proclaim that Experience Marketing at trade shows is dead.

Really? If his definition of Experience Marketing includes spending large sums of money on frivolous activities then, sure, I’ll agree. Those days are long gone. But I’ve always understood Experience Marketing to be focused on providing a personally relevant experience for every individual that connects with the brand. That’s a goal that isn’t budget-reliant and it sure shouldn’t be overlooked by any exhibitor at any event.

Think about how many different touch points engage visitors in an exhibit. How quickly are they greeted? How authentic and genuine is the staff? Are subject matter experts knowledgeable and helpful? Do they know how to run demos and access information? Are self-directed kiosks and touch screens easy to navigate? Can anyone in the booth get the new wireless iPad lead capture solution to work?

The list goes on.

In today’s hyper-connected world where any prospect can become a viral critic, event marketers need more than ever to assert quality control over all customer touch points. That’s shaping the customer experience and that work is never dead.

Top 3 – Part 2 – 1to1

At the beginning of the year, I posted three trends that I expect to shape events over the coming year. The first was the requirement for exhibitors and event sponsors to provide personally relevant information for their guests and visitors.

Last week I read an article in 1to1Media that cited some interesting out-takes from Oracle’s report, “Global Insights on Succeeding in the Customer Experience Era.” It makes some similar conclusions to my emphasis on the need to provide personally relevant experiences. Enjoy!

Good to Great

RIM made headlines this week with the introduction of two new smart phones. Unfortunately, the launch seems to have generated more questions about the brand than it answered. Are the new phones great? Are they merely good? Is good “good-enough” to save the brand?

It’s a question that all marketers need to ask on a regular basis.

Can we move a prospect from indifferent to adoption with a marketing program that is merely good? If we hope to move an entire market from loyalty to advocacy does a brand strategy need to be great? At what point does the tried and true (i.e., good marketing) just become plain old tired (i.e., not good enough)?

Conventional wisdom says that perfect is the enemy of good. In today’s ultra-connected, trend-sensitive global market maybe “good enough” is the enemy of great.


Ask Wicked Questions

Does this ever happen to you?

The client delays. Deadlines loom. Tension escalates. Finally, the project is green-lighted. Everyone shifts into hyper speed.  Me? I get so wrapped up in execution that I annoy the team by making decisions that should be left to someone else. Let’s change that background to orange. While you’re at it, try a bolder font.

Not this year. This year I’m getting out of the way. Instead of meddling with details, I’m going to ask questions. Tough questions that none of us can answer. Questions that make us all think. Wicked questions that, when we find the answer, will produce inspiring results for our clients and their brands.

Isn’t that really why clients hire agencies?

To think strategically on their behalf.

Top Three Event Trends for 2013

It’s the season for making lists. Here are my top three trends that will shape event marketing in 2013:
1. Instant Information. Digital has re-shaped expectations. Consumers now seek the same immediacy in the live event arena that they currently enjoy from on-line experiences. Delivering on-demand data that’s personally relevant to each individual is now the gold standard for live events.
2. Aggressive Indecision. Everyone waits till the last possible minute to make a decision. Time compression narrows to the nth degree. All of which makes the ability to deliver personally relevant, on-demand information (see trend #1, above) doubly difficult. Sure, it’s a Catch-22 but isn’t that why marketers are paid the big bucks?
3. Brand Advocacy. As social platforms continue to gain prominence, consumers increasingly trust other consumers for purchasing recommendations and decision-making. Events will continue to gain prominence as the primary vehicles to build brand awareness, preference and loyalty.

Happy New Year!!!!

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