It’s been a busy period for our onsite team. Our designers, storytellers and project managers have soaked up the long hours, late nights and room service food to support some very happy customers . The war stories shared by the team when back at base reminded me of an event I managed in the very early days of Eyeful. This huge fintech event project shared many of the same attributes (sleep’s for wimps, right?), but unfortunately, this one sticks in the mind for all the wrong reasons.
Picture the scene – me and my freelance chum (I did say it was a long time ago!) were onsite in Amsterdam. We’d been very privileged and pleased to support a number of the keynote speakers, and frankly, we’d smashed it. It was a wonderful experience – the event was amazing, the content compelling, and the speakers genuinely engaging.
After seeing our hard work delivered in such a professional way, we floated out of the keynote theatre on a cloud of euphoria and a flurry of high fives. Unfortunately, that bonhomie quickly evaporated as we worked our way into the exhibition hall, an area dedicated to the thousands of attendees to engage with potential suppliers and partners. If you were on a stand or one of the breakout session presenters, this was your perfectly gift-wrapped opportunity to connect with your target audience. It was payback for the long days and careful planning that went into preparing for the event.
Sadly, the reality was somewhat different. Breakout sessions where subject matter experts would deliver their insights were, um, patchy. Amidst some great presenters lay PowerPoint sins aplenty, from bullet point strewn slides, text being read to the audience, overly complex content and a palpable sense that some presenters simply hadn’t prepared sufficiently. Yikes.
On the plus side, there were some demos, however they were pretty thin on the ground. When crafted and delivered well, demos are a potent engagement tool for such events, yet the opportunity was missed by many.
We then made our way over to the stands and it was a similar story. Yes, the stands looked great (you could see a considerable amount of money had been invested in crafting these architectural beauties); however, once you got past the awe of the construction, it was the same old issue. There were some interactive presentations for prospects to engage with, but these were few and far between, and they suffered from varying quality levels.
For example, one of the world’s biggest FinTechs had a very impressive-looking interface that went to some very, very average looking PowerPoint slides as soon as you clicked on it. Alongside them was a Tier One Bank sharing content about their new eBanking platform in a slide format that I’ve not seen since the early 90s.
Now, this might sound like a middle-aged man (still) ranting about things that frustrated him many years ago, and frankly, it is. This is a very cathartic process for me (so thank you).
However, I share the story because it continues to be a significant issue for many exhibitors. Every event like this – whether physical, virtual or hybrid – costs a lot of time, energy and money. Of course, this investment is balanced by the potential payoff – your best people engaging with your intended audience. However, all that effort will result in zilch if you don’t get the basics right. The good news is that we’ve broken effective communication down into 3 key stages, each of which apply as much to your event engagement strategy as they do your next pitch presentation. Check out our interactive guide:
These fundamental elements underpin the elephant in the room – ensuring a return on investment. My final (ranting) question is this –
Why spend tens/hundreds of thousands of pounds on a stand and then rely on slides that were obviously developed last minute by somebody that doesn’t truly understand communication to deliver the ROI?
It makes no sense, it’s frustrating, and it’s costing you money.
Rant over. Enjoy the rest of your event season…and beware of the Event Paradox!
Making The Most of Your Next Event:
Maximising the Impact of your SKO:
Customer Story – The High Stakes FMCG Presentation: https://eyefulpresentations.com/case-study/marketing-presentations-fmcg/