3 June 2024 786 words, 4 min. read

Vivatech: tips for effective commercial prospecting

By Pierre-Nicolas Schwab PhD in marketing, director of IntoTheMinds
In this article, I share my experience of 2 days spent at Vivatech canvassing for customers. I tried a hack that boosted my contact rate (from 10% to 50%).

I spent 2 very intense days at Vivatech with my colleague Kevin. We aimed to prospect and promote our market research agency. In this article, I look back at what went right. I explain how I increased my appointment rate from 10% to 50%. One thing’s for sure: the advice I gave in preparation for Vivatech proved 100% useful.

Contact the market research agency IntoTheMinds

70 appointments in 2 days is possible, provided …

The prospecting program we had set ourselves was extremely ambitious but turned out to be perfectly feasible. We had drawn up a list of 70 stands to visit and as many people to pitch to. By the end of the first day, we had already achieved 2/3 of our objectives.

This was made possible by preparation for the show.

Have a paper map with stand locations

Printing out a map showing the location of the stands to be visited was the most ingenious idea I’ve ever had. The Vivatech app was so buggy, and the Wi-Fi and 4G networks were so saturated that it was pointless to rely on the Vivatech app to direct you around the show. Moreover, the organizers had a clever idea of not numbering all the stands. In the end, some people were lost. Some, seeing my paper map, even asked me for directions. What a shame!

As for me, I could easily move from one stand to another, organizing my visit systematically. I went from one stand to another quickly, without getting lost. I won’t deny that I sometimes had trouble finding certain stands precisely because of the lack of numbering.

paper list vivatech 2024

The map I had prepared with the stands to visit (numbered from 1 to 70 and arranged more or less in the optimal order for visiting).

Preparing a paper list of people to meet

What also helped me a lot was the list I’d made of people to meet. I had sent them all a message beforehand to give them some background. I could then refer to this message to open the conversation.

Another advantage of my paper list was that I didn’t have to search the app for the names of the people I wanted to meet. I’d arrive at the stand and ask for the person I’d identified beforehand, and that was that.

A pitch adapted to the person you’re meeting

I had studied the company’s profile beforehand and indicated in a few words the nature of the pitch.

vivatech app : contact notifications

Using the Vivatech application after the show enabled me to multiply my contacts and increase the response rate from 10% to 50%.

Use the Vivatech app after the show!

The 2 days spent at the show enabled us to meet the people we had targeted, but that was all. Impossible to do more than that. So, we only had a little time to visit other stands and discover recent technologies. But nothing’s lost since the Vivatech application is still running after the show. I tried a hack that paid off, boosting the response rate from 10% to 50%.

The day after the show, I used the application to send as many pitches as possible to meet startups. Before the show, the response rate was only 10%, but by the end, I had reached 50%.

Several factors can explain this difference:

  • before the show, the number of people registering on the app (even among exhibitors) must be higher. As the show approaches, the number of people registered on the app increases.
  • once the show starts, exhibitors no longer have time to respond to messages. Moreover, 4G and Wi-Fi connections could be better at the show, making it difficult for them to respond to live messages.
  • No one interacts with the app after the show, so your message will be noticed.

Record prospecting information directly

Of course, your prospecting will only be effective if you act after the show. So, taking notes during the show is important so you can get back in touch afterward.

I am still looking for a perfect method, but the simplest thing is to take notes directly on the prospect’s business card. That way, you have all the information in one place. This simplified my encoding when I got back from the show.

Some final words

My colleague and I came away from Vivatech very satisfied. The preparation we had done beforehand was one of the keys to the success of this prospecting campaign. Our commercial goals were achieved, but the time (2 days) needed to be longer to get interested in the startups.

The mailing campaign (via the Vivatech app) we organized after the show proved exceptionally effective.

So, there’s no doubt we’ll be back next year, as well-prepared as ever, but certainly 1 day longer.

Posted in Entrepreneurship.

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