Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Business Travel Demo

Let’s say you are packing for a business trip and you can only take a carry-on. I can see the guys nodding yes and the girls wondering what they are going to do about shoes. Right away we can see a difference in how people pack. What you think is essential, I see as optional at best, and frivolous at worse. So what are the essentials? Well, it depends…

 What kind of meeting is it? Formal? Casual? Business casual? Where is it? In the South? North? West Coast? Winter? Summer? Every one of these items may effect what you pack. It is the same with your demos.

For every demo, there is a perfect combination of things we should show and things we shouldn’t. In 25 years of demoing, I’ve had that happen maybe a dozen times. These were the times the demo was packed just right. Most of the time I forget to pack something, or drag out that old sweater I never seem to need but can’t leave at home. Just because the demo isn’t perfect doesn’t mean it wasn’t good, or even great.

What makes the difference between a demo that is perfect, great and good? Thinking about the demo and packing correctly. As I said before, packing perfectly is hard, but there is a trick you can use. When I pack for a business trip I always do two things. One, I travel in business attire, I have had airlines lose carry-on luggage before. When you land at midnight and have a seven o’clock presentation, I can tell you there are no stores open, and wearing a Black Sabbath tee shirt, shorts and flip flops will give you less credibility than you would think… Two, I pack an emergency kit. It is a little bag that has a little bit of everything in it. Safety pins, duct tape, eye glass screwdriver, couple of wire ties… lots of stuff… It has saved my trip, let it save your demo too.

Now maybe a wire tie will fix your demo, but what I have in my demo emergency kit are workflows. Smooth, slick, logical workflows. These workflows are generic enough to cover a lot of bases if your “custom” demo script missed the mark for some reason. You may have packed for San Fran and ended up going to San Antonio.

Plan your trip, check the weather, pack your bag and plan on something to go wrong and your trip will always be successful. 

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