Last year we were selected as the winner of the Vinci Energie startup challenge at VIvatech but were deprived from the winning prize : because we had no staff available for the award ceremony, we did not have the right to pitch its CEO Yves Meigné. Here are some guidelines for you to make sure you don’t miss the people that will help you grow your business at Vivatech.
Neglect the star speaker
People and exhibitors get drawn to trade shows thanks to the key speaker, similar to big names in rock’n roll festivals. This year’s edition will be open by French President Emmanuel Macron probably not as fit as he was two years ago. Hard to beat the attraction of Marck Zuckerberg and Satya Nadella, CEO of Facebook and Microsoft who were here last year. But VIvatech is giving keynotes to stars in the tech world such as Jack Ma (Alibaba) and Justin Trudeau (Canada Prime Minister), where an important AI ecosystem is taking shape. But he you’re here to do business and detect new solutions, you should skip these sessions altogether and leave them to the crowd.
The people you won’t see this year at Vivatech
Follow the right track
Beyond star speakers, Vivatech offers an impressive lineup and it’s easy to get lost in the variety of opportunities to get good pitches. They have setup different tracks to help you choose the events that are most relevant to your business. From Women in tech to Tech4good, there are chances you will find what suits you. Each individual booth may also have scheduled different themes. For instance, we are taking part in a Smart Industry session on the IMT booth on Friday afternoon.
Oh, and if you’re really looking for things that go on tracks, it seems like Citroën decided to celebrate its 100th birthday at the show, with a couple of other automotive brands such as Renault, Jaguar, and Volkswagen launching some cool concepts.
Optimize when to answer emails on your smartphone
Good pitches alternate high impact messages with ones with lower impact. For a typical 5 minutes startup pitch, this would translate into a W shaped pitch : expect a strong start like the problem statement and mission of the startup, then some more mundane explanation of the solution, followed by a rebound of some sort, like unique value proposition / key technological asset, then again some mandatory boring information like number of staff, eventually a strong final with key customers or financial perspective if the pitch is targeted to potential investors. Depending what information you’re looking for, you can choose to stop reading your emails at the right time ! But remember : time is money so you’d better not spend it twice. It’s best to be fully focused for a few speeches and keep some time for yourself to book meetings and answer emails.
Finally, short improvised pitches usually start with a good joke and people daring to dress up and / or bump into you in an alley to pitch you are not only fun to hear, they must believe in their product, which is a good sign. In a nutshell, once you have planned meeting the people and companies you must see, do not hesitate to follow your instinct and get loose with any pitching opportunity that seems appealing to you./span>