The Critical Role Story Plays in Your Trade Show Seminar
The Critical Role Story Plays in Your Trade Show Seminar
You have researched your trade show opportunities and are ready to take center stage, presenting to a large audience through your own trade show seminar. It’s an exciting highlight of any trade show, and often the main attraction for visitors. So, how can you best take advantage of this opportunity to expand your client base and get your company’s name in the spotlight?
A trade show seminar is an effective opportunity to market your business and attract new clients or investors. You have the chance to engage with an audience that is there just to listen to you and what you have to say. What you have to say should be interesting enough that they pay attention! Storytelling is a natural method of connecting with your audience, to leave a good impression that will ideally turn into leads.
If you are used to taking a highly methodical, information-based approach to your presentations, storytelling can represent a big change. Luckily, it’s the kind of thing we all do on a regular basis, so you might find it’s easier than you think.
What is Storytelling?
Or rather — what is storytelling in the context of business, and trade show seminars?
Simply put, storytelling in business is the art of marketing or promoting your organization through emotionally compelling language. It’s the difference between a cold recounting of the facts that led you to success, and sharing your story of success with all of its ups, downs, and engaging moments, so that your audience is on the edge of their seats waiting to hear what comes next.
While facts and information have their place in the business world, if you can tell a story that connects to people’s hearts, the experience is not only more interesting, but more memorable for that person, thus easier to recall over time. That means that through storytelling in business, you can leave your audience with a lasting impression of your company.
Business storytelling helps humanize your organization and your staff. Not everyone will find the industry-specific details of your company interesting, but we can all see ourselves in moments of struggle, triumph, and everything in between.
The Role of Story in Trade Show Seminars
In business, it’s always useful to present oneself or one’s organization as the solution to a problem. Storytelling is a great way to do this, especially in a trade show seminar, as you can walk your audience through a common problem, how you solve it, and what the impact is. It’s the standard format of a story — a conflict area, the arc toward redemption, and the (positive!) aftermath.
For a trade show seminar, your company, or the people behind it, are the hero of the story. Of course, there are many ways you can structure your business story, based on your goals and what type of audience you’re working with.
In some cases, it’s actually more effective to move away from focusing on the company itself, and stick with telling more personalized, human stories that feature individuals like customers, employees, or stakeholders. Especially with larger companies, the idea of a corporation being personified can actually backfire, as people cannot see themselves reflected in a big organization.
It’s an important consideration. However you choose to structure your story, you will want your audience to be emotionally invested in your story, and thus, the seminar itself, and ultimately, your business. If you are presenting your organization as the solution to one of their problems, emotionally invest the audience in what is at stake.
Through your dialogue, they should understand that their own success is reliant on the outcome of your story. Why does success matter to them, and how can you illustrate that? When you have the audience emotionally invested they will pay closer attention to what you are saying, and ideally take action based on your seminar.
They will know what to do with that emotional investment through a call to action you include toward the end of your story. With presentation and storytelling skills, and advance planning and research, you should be at a point where you have presented a problem, invested your audience in the solution, then shared what that solution is and how it will impact your listeners.
From there, you can lead the way by telling them what comes next — perhaps they should reach out to your business for a quote, schedule a meeting with a staff member, sign up for a newsletter, or even purchase a product right then and there. Clearly lead your audience with a call to action, and you can turn that emotional investment into action by showing them how their lives will change for the better by taking part in what you are offering.
Remember to be authentic in your storytelling. This approach is designed to build trust and bonding between your business and its potential clients, and any kind of dramatization or false narrative can erode that trust completely. If you cannot think of an earth-shattering story to tell as part of your next trade show seminar, don’t worry about coming up with something spectacular — simply stick with what you know, be genuine, and you may find that it’s often the little things that connect people.
Completing the Picture
Your compelling, carefully crafted story is the heart of your trade show seminar. Now, set yourself up for success with the right materials and accessories to drive the point home. You do not want to surround yourself with distracting displays and props, as that would take away from the presentation and your storytelling success. However, the right displays and accessories, like lighting and furniture, can evoke an atmosphere that works with your seminar, adding to the overall effect.
Our experienced team is here to help you select the trade show materials you need to complete your seminar’s design. Contact us for a free quote online, or call us toll-free at 800-576-0018.