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What is your Trade Show “118″?

Jeffrey Hayzlett, recent CMO of Eastman Kodak, wrote a new book called, “The Mirror Test”. In it, he poses the question, “What is your ’118′?” So, you’re probably wondering where this number comes from. Hayzlett describes, “The ’118′ comes from the 118 seconds you actually have to pitch: 8 seconds to hook me and up to 110 seconds to drive it home.”

Great, so what does this have to do with successful trade show exhibiting?

According to trade show research, from, you have 3-5 seconds to capture someone’s attention on the show floor. Once you’ve captured their attention, you’d better engage that prospect quickly & effectively. Here is an example:

You: “Hello sir!”

Prospect: “Hi.”

You: “What brings you to the show?”

Prospect: “I’m with ABC Co. and we sell to the XYZ industry. I’m looking for a widget that makes this easier and more profitable.”

You (8 seconds): “We make UVW widgets. Why don’t we spend a few moments to talk more about your situation to see if it is a fit?”

Prospect: “Well… I have a busy schedule today and I have to fly out this afternoon.”

You better have a solid 110 seconds at this point!

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