1) For the love of God, bring lunch:
We have busy schedules, so when we set up a CPD we have to organise it during our lunch hour, otherwise we simply wouldn’t have the time. When we give up our lunch break to watch your presentation and learn about your products, that means we don’t have time to make ourselves a sandwich or go and grab a salad. In short: if you don’t bring us food, we won’t have any food. And there are very few things in the world worse than a group of busy designers being forced to sit through a speech about the importance of hoovering when the only thing we’ve eaten that day is a bowl of soggy Special K and a barely ripe banana.
2) Keep it relevant:
We don’t need to know the name of every family member in every generation involved in founding and developing the business. We want to know a little history about how this company came about and what it’s values are, and then we just want to know about what the products do, where we can use them and how they’re better than the rest. When somebody asks me what your company is like I want my mind to immediately recall your products and your ethics, not the fact that the Great Great Great Grandfather of the founder was a talented carpenter and enjoyed swimming.
3) Remember: we only have an hour:
We love it when people come in with a twist on their pitch to make it a little more fun and we enjoy turning a CPD into more of an exercise than a presentation. It’s more entertaining, it’s a welcome change, and it makes it a lot easier to remember you. However, if you’re planning something special, please do remember that we only have an hour – and usually even less than that – to see your entire presentation. Don’t spend so much time making it fun and interesting that you can only fit half of your products in. We’d rather see everything and find the perfect product for a project than only see half of what you have to offer – no matter how fun that game you thought of might be!
4) Know your prices:
One of the most important factors for us when it comes to choosing any product for a project is the price. We’ll want to know figures for anything we spot that we particularly like, and if you have them (and they’re impressive) then we’ll be much more intrigued by your entire presentation. Of course you can always get back to us later with cost information, but if you can’t give us at least a ballpark figure on the spot we’ll be reluctant to become too invested in anything you have to show, as there’s a huge chance we may never be able to justify paying for it.
5) Leave us something to remember you by:
We see a lot of CPD’s – and I mean a lot – so sometimes it can get a little confusing trying to remember which products belong to who. Putting together a strong presentation will of course help with that, but it’s also an added bonus if you leave us something to remember you by, whether it’s business cards, sample catalogues or even, as we were recently given, branded plant seeds! We want to remember you just as much as you want us to, so help us out by following all of the points on this list and putting together something that really does your products justice.
Thankfully we’ve never had a CPD that’s really been a complete shambles (you all seem to know what you’re doing), but we wanted to give you some tips from the inside, and we hope that this blog post has been helpful to some of you.