Employee Spotlight: How to Create a Conference Interactive Demo

7 minute read

In our new series, we’re interviewing our employees about their favorite Navattic use cases.

First up is Alisa Feng, our Head of Customer Success. In her role, she’s responsible for onboarding new users and nurturing existing users of the Navattic platform. Alisa uses her expertise to write robust support documentation, share best practices, and help customers take advantage of all the features Navattic’s plans have to offer.

Below, we ask for her take on conference software demos — what they are, why they’re important, and how to build them to maximize awareness and conversion.

Why Are Conference Demos Gaining Popularity?

The number one reason why our customers use interactive demos at conferences is that it makes them stand out. If you think about it, most booths look very similar. They’re equipped with similar devices and one-pagers, with swag as their differentiators.

Interactive demos set you apart from your competitors and deliver value to prospects as quickly as possible.

This is even more critical as conference attendees are already in a buying mindset, and competitors are likely to be present. If potential customers see the product firsthand and are still interested, they’re ready for a more in-depth conversation with sales.

Second, attendees might not be familiar with your product at all. Interactive demos help reps guide conversations with prospects, directing visitors toward use cases and features that excel — not non-ideal use cases.

Last, people often come in waves, and you can only talk to so many people at once. Interactive demos are efficient in that they can:

  1. Assist with discovery even if reps are talking to someone else.
  2. Show off various use cases and features without being overly sales-y.

How to Build a Killer Conference Demo

First things first, you need a compelling story and copy. Focus on common pain points and show how your product alleviates stress, time, and budget. The better your story, the easier it will be for reps to start a conversation at your booth.

Just like website demos, they’re a way to lead the customer to a more in-depth conversation with sales — they’re not a replacement for it.

Then, center your demo around a checklist. Doing this has several benefits:

  1. You can use this to conduct initial discovery. Ask for someone’s name, role, and company as the first step.
  2. You can soft-pitch a variety of use cases and features. A checklist lets users jump straight to the areas of the product that interest them rather than having to wait for several steps to get to the value prop they care about.
  3. You’ll identify folks who are a good fit. If someone’s not interested in anything on your checklist, you’ve prevented an unqualified lead from getting on your list.
  4. You can pre-empt people’s questions. Answering FAQs upfront means prospects can have deeper conversations with your sales teams at the booth.

If you’ve never built a demo before, read our 6-step guide to creating interactive demos.

5 Other Conference Demo Tips

Keep interactive demos short and sweet. People simply won’t go through a 20-step demo. Think 3 - 5 captures max and try to optimize for quality — show a variety of data, dashboards, and widgets. Navattic’s HTML capture editor can be used to keep the demo really engaging.

Test responsiveness strategies on your conference devices. Test responsiveness strategies on your conference devices. Make sure your demo is optimized for your at-booth monitors, laptops, and tablets.

Use Navattic’s time-based progression. If you have a standalone device, like an unmanned monitor or TV screen, use time-based progression to loop your demo. That way, if one conference-goer runs through the interactive demo on a laptop, other people can still watch the demo on the screen.

Create an abridged version for mobile viewers. Make it easy for people to access the demo with a QR code linking out to a mobile swipe demo version of your demo with a form gate so you can collect their emails.

Below is the time-based progression demo that we use at conferences:

How to Use Interactive Demos at Your Booth (and After the Conference)

There are a few ways Navattic customers use interactive demos. Namely:

To incentivize folks to give up their email. For example, every user who runs through the interactive demo might get an entry into a raffle. Collecting their emails and monitoring their behavior in the demo gives reps the data they need to tailor subsequent outreach.

Even if you don’t collect emails at the conference, you can send a follow-up interactive demo to all attendees afterward. You can identify visitors and see which areas of the product they’re most interested in with a form gate “to see a conference-exclusive product tour" or with query strings.

They likely have multiple vendors following up post-conference, so equipping sales with personalized outreach will stand out from the crowd.

To show pre-release functionality. One Navattic customer, Crossbeam, used conference demos to recruit users for a new beta program.

According to them, having a conference demo:

Made it possible to showcase the functionality earlier in the development process and to get this feedback to our product team, which directly impacted the feature build itself.”

For presenter enablement. Using test environments for panels or breakout sessions is always risky, and the stakes are even higher at a conference where you have limited time and a changing audience.

It can also be challenging to follow along on a big screen if someone’s clicking around. Interactive demos let you present confidently, knowing your product tour will run smoothly. And you can send attendees a link to revisit the demo afterward.

To analyze user behavior and improve their interactive demos. I recommend that our customers use Navattic’s native dropoff reporting post-conference to see where attendees potentially got stuck or stopped going through the steps.

Examining these parts of your demo can help you enhance your standard conference demo for your next showcase.


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