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Exhibiting for the first time & refining our message

Damian Hehirentrepreneurship

The last few weeks have been pretty hectic for us. We were accepted into an Incubator program, and as a part of that we were asked to attend and present at Innovation Arabia 9. This was a great experience for us, and represented a number of firsts as well. Let me explain further.

Physical Materials
It might be hard to believe, but only a couple of weeks ago Capytech didn’t have any physical marketing materials beyond business cards! Everything we had was in the cloud or delivered on iPads or computers. We had to have a physical presence at the event, and so needed to get a couple of things in place.

Firstly we needed a rollup. Even though I must have walked past 1000s of these, I still had to look up what it was! Fortunately Dubai is very well setup to get these printed rapidly, and it’s actually quite a neat self supporting device. Now that we have one, it will live in the incubator space in Silicon Oasis and I’m sure I’ll find the opportunity to use it from time to time.

The second item we needed was flyers. We decided on a 2-sided A5 design highlighting the features and benefits of our e-learning solutions. I looked at getting it printed on normal paper, but it just didn’t turn out very well, so we went glossy in the end. I’m not sure how many were taken over the couple of days of the event, but if even one leads to a contract, it was well worth it!

We also developed a new video for the show. We needed something that highlighted more about our e-learning solutions in general. We weren’t sure if we would be able to have audio, so we had to have a video that didn’t require any narration. We also updated our interactive display to narrow our focus to e-learning, and also incorporate the new video.

Check it out!

One of the concepts that was introduced early in the incubator was that of the lean canvas. I had heard of it before, but hadn’t given it much attention. In the end, I decided to use it as the framework for my presentation which worked really well.

As always, our designers developed a great presentation for us and it went over very well. Firstly I told a bit of a back story about my history in the military and training with a theme of e-learning throughout. Then I launched into the canvas which covers various elements of the business in 9 stages. I ended up being a little rushed as our presentation time was reduced, but overall I’m happy with how it went.

Refining our message
I think the biggest benefit to come out of the whole experience was refining how we communicate what we do. It was essential to get it across in a one minute video, on a small flyer and especially during the presentation.

By producing these materials, and going through the lean canvas in some detail it really helped my thinking about our core business activities. I think it’s helpful for a business to periodically refine what they are doing and make sure it is consistent with their business aims.

Being quite new to the whole business world, and its challenges in the UAE – this exercise was valuable for me. I’m confident now that I can better communicate what we do, how we do it and why.

Hopefully the exposure that we achieved over the event will get us some more business. Even without that though, it was a valuable experience for us – and hopefully the first of many more to come!