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The Secrets of Israeli Startup Success at Conferences

To get their message before the public, companies prepare for shows as for a military operations
Participants at the 2016 Foreign Trade Conference in Tel Aviv (Courtesy)
Participants at the 2016 Foreign Trade Conference in Tel Aviv (Courtesy)

Mobile, high tech and startup conferences are in full swing in 2016. Online meetings and social media are wonderful, but have yet to dethrone conferences. They won’t. Online technologies will never disrupt the thrill of person to person contact.

Israeli high tech companies are way ahead of the curve when it comes to online conferences. I won’t bother listing the 100+ Israeli startups that are going to multiple conferences a year and closing large deals on a regular basis. How do they do it?

High Tech Conference Messaging
It begins with messaging. You need to convey a powerful and assertive message. Israeli high tech professionals never hesitate when it comes to bold marketing. Whereas American and European tech giants have endless internal meetings and are cautious, the Israeli tech landscape is used to making quick and daring decisions.

Bring them into your booth. Offer the strongest message that reflects your amazing technology. Step back from the technical details and tell your story to the executives. Prepare a strong tech story and a stronger business story.

Conferences are a Military Operation
Israeli tech tech companies prepare for conferences like an army operation. We start preparing 6 months before D-Day. 3 months ahead of time, we have our messaging and attack plans ready to go. In our conference rooms and kitchens, we are fine-tuning our attack plan. How will we stand out from the crowd? Where will we buy a big screen TV? Do we buy chairs and tables at Costco or have someone who lives nearby drop them off? Nothing is left to chance.

Identify the Decision Makers for the Win
The name of the game is identifying the decision makers. Of the thousands of people who will enter your booth at a high tech conference, only a few percent matter. They are the decision makers and the influencers. These are the people who come to conferences to buy into our disruptive technologies.

Israeli startups come to conferences with a plan to “reveal” their decision makers – the ones you need to engage. Who are they? What are their titles? What makes them tick? How do you create a “magnet” around your booth to attract them? Hands down, Israelis are winning this game all over the world.

Strong messaging, smart planning and a bottom line plan for identifying decision makers set Israelis apart from the pack at high tech conferences. What are your company’s best practices for conferences?

About the Author
Kenny Sahr is a startup marketing executive. His first startup, founded in 1996, was featured in Time Magazine and on 60 Minutes. Kenny moved to Israel from Miami, Florida. In his spare time, he is an avid music collector and traveler.
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