With more than 80,000 visitors expected at Viva Technology, among them 8,000 start-ups, it promises to be an even bigger and better show this year! For a new business, standing out from the crowd on a 4m2 stand can be a real challenge! Here are a few tips to increasing your chances of attracting the right people to your (little) space.
1. Making the right impression at VivaTech takes preparation
Most of your preparation will take place before the event. This starts of course with how your stand looks, but whether you’re going for big and flashy or something more conservative such as a demo, it’s necessary to put it all into action as soon as possible.
Think about refining your messaging for maximum relevance. This implies being about to adapt your message to different categories of visitors: start-ups, managers, investors, media, students, academics and the general public. Aim to make your marketing impactful so people remember who you are before they’ve even met you. You can do this without the need for costumes or full-on animation which might cause annoyance for others and regrets for you.
2. Master the programme and who’s-who
For a start-up at VivaTech, networking is a good way to increase your visibility. Contact your network before the date (customers, partners, colleagues, friends, etc.) to generate buzz, especially via social media, but also to prepare contacts. Don’t wait for the event to create links! Get the list of participants, from start-ups to corporate partners, to spot opportunities. A simple connection via LinkedIn or email, followed by a polite introductory message, can help you stand out and prepare a meeting.
Similarly, don’t miss the VivaTech side events, which are also opportunities to meet partners or investors “outside the walls” in a more relaxed context.
3. Take advantage of the conference programme to be spotted
During the event itself, make the most of the conference programme (opens in a new window). It’s a chance to listen to industry leaders and identify potential customers to guide to your stand! It’s unlikely that the tech giants (opens in a new window) will need help with a keynote, but discussions or meetings might result from a Q & A. Position yourself strategically that it’s easy to get hold of a microphone. Preparation and relevance are, here again, the key words: come with clear and relevant questions, which allow you to put yourself forward without derailing the topic. Remember to specify the name of your start-up and your location in the exhibition hall. Stay on at the end, and make yourself visible.
Bonus: know how to attract people to your stand
Whether the people coming to your stand have arrived organically or by invitation, be ready to welcome them with a personalised experience. Learn to identify your types of visitor so you can present the most relevant messages, without being tempted to prioritise one visitor over the next.
The objective is 100% satisfaction for everyone. Use your best smile and most dynamic presence throughout the three days… a hard task, but to reiterate the obvious, when it comes to first impressions, there is no second chance.