This article originally appeared in the Wharton.
Heed these three pieces of advice if you want to succeed at your next big meeting with potential clients
On Nov. 19, 2013, we will be presenting our translation platform on stage at PhoCusWright’s Travel Innovation Summit in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. This is part one of a three-part series documenting how we prepared for the summit, what the onstage experience was like, and what happened to our company VerbalizeIt, after the conference.
We’ve had our eyes set on PhoCusWright’s premier Travel Innovation Summit since we began supporting travelers and travel organizations with our interpretation and translation solutions 15 months ago. Now that moment is finally here.
We will be presenting our language translation services to thousands of the world’s leading travel organizations, and we’re working on securing additional distribution partners and clients to continue helping global businesses and world travelers. Based on previous successes and failures, here are three recommendations we have when preparing for a major event and presentation:
1. Do Your Research.
Our objective from the outset has been to introduce VerbalizeIt to set up in-person meetings. Most of this work has happened well before the event. We’ve done our research on the attendees, and through conversations with them ahead of time, we have a presentation that we’re hoping best matches our strengths with the pain points of the attendees.
Like most growing companies, aligning ourselves with companies of all sizes has led to stronger distribution and better differentiation from our competitors. Unfortunately, like most growing companies, we’re not the only ones trying to set up meetings. This leads to our next recommendation …
2. Don’t Go Empty-Handed.
Just like with any decent cocktail party, you don’t want to walk in empty-handed as you likely won’t be invited back. Once we identified certain companies, we knew that reaching out to them cold was going to be difficult. As with most requests in life, it’s easier to get something after you’ve given something away. We built a dedicated global expansion Web page that offers a free month on our platform. Now that we have garnered attention and secured meetings, the next step is to cement a lasting impression.
3. Take a Risk and Make a Memory. The PhoCusWright Travel Innovation Summit will feature 30 other innovators, many of whom have taken steps one and two above, as we have. In order for us to stand out, we’re going to have to deliver a clear and compelling presentation capped with a memorable moment. We obviously don’t want to give away what we’re planning, but we can tell you that what we’re aiming to deliver started long before we were accepted as a summit innovator. If all goes well, it should sustain our business for some time. Stay tuned.