DEMO is one of the premier conferences to launch a product. It has launched some of the key companies and products over the past few year. In one of my groups, someone recently asked – How do I get into Demo?
I’ve been lucky enough to have two companies accepted into DEMO. Here are some tips for getting invited and then tips for when you’re at the conference.
Getting Invited to Demo
The key to DEMO is making sure that you schedule a briefing with Chris Shipley over the next few months. If she likes your company, she will invite you on the spot to participate. Otherwise, she will consider you as a back up in case her initial invities are unable to participate. It’s probably a good idea to keep her updated on your company as you wait for the golden ticket.
What makes a good Demo?
1) Announce at Demo first: The product or solution must be announced at the conference – the availability can be that day or in the subsequent months. But the golden rule is no pre-announcements before the start of the conference.
2) Good spokesperson: Your briefing is like an audition for the big show. Make sure your spokesperson can succinctly describe the product and your company during the briefing.
3) Give the “wow” factor: Be able to give a sense of why your product would “wow” the crowd at the conference. In one case, we showed how the GPS tracking worked for a mobile device – in real-time and with a recording of the tracking
4) Clear benefits and market potential: Be able to clearly communicate how your solution/product will be positioned in the market place as well as the business model.
You’re going to Demo. Now What?
Getting invited to demo is the first step, but your work isn’t done. Make sure that you emphasize that Demo requires a lot of preparation, including:
1) Script writing: Have a tight script that goes through the flow of the demo from transitions and camera angles (at most, 2 camera shots). Set up a work back plan that highlights deadlines for drafts, edits and final approval.
2) Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse: I have forced my presenters to practice multiple times to ensure that the script flows as written. And if you have two presenters, the rehearsal helps for transitions. It’s good to practice how you would cue the camera crew to switch camera angles.
3) Have a back up plan: Though showing your product live is great, be aware that the Internet connection can fail. Have a back up demo on your computer just in case. They don’t stop the show and this actually happened one year.
4) Network, network, network: Bring people who can not only discuss your company and solutions, but who can also network. There are a lot of reporters and it’s a PR person’s fantasy!