How to win a business competition

Our team is just settling into a brand new office in Liberty Village, Toronto. How did we get here?

A week ago we spent our last day at Digital Media Zone and on Saturday we were participating at a demo competition at Regus offices in Liberty Village. We won the first prize ( 6 months free office), so by Monday we were moving in. Demos and pitch competitions are great not just for the prizes but also for meeting potential customers or investors and for spreading the word about your product or service.  Depending on the event’s reach you can also use this as a PR opportunity.

We’ve participated in many business competitions with Luevo, even when we were still building the company and didn’t have a platform yet. In most competitions we were either finalists, or we won something.  While these take a lot of preparation and practice, I am going to give you a couple of tips to help you get the attention you want and increase your success chances when demo-ing your product:

#1 Be memorable

Wear something out of the ordinary, bright coloured t-shirts with your company logos, or some fun outfits. Too many people have the same look at these events, so dress to impress and to remain memorable.


#2 Free swag

Especially if you have a demo booth or a table, swag is a very easy way to get talking with the audience. At our last demo day at Regus we gave away Mars bars. The goal was to get the most votes in order to win, the chocolates were an easy conversation starter and many guests appreciated the gesture. Another great idea is to give away water bottles with your logo and company info printed on the label.


#3 Contest

Another way of engaging your audience is to run a draw or a contest. We were giving away a T-Shirt created by one of our designers. Not only that we got people to our booth but we also  grew our mailing list.


Finally, it is about your pitch, your attitude and the atmosphere you create with your product demo. We had a beautiful and colorful banner that had an inspirational message ( “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different”), we played our promo video on a loop so the music would draw more attention and we had tons of fliers and business cards. We were fun, engaging and talking to everyone there, and so we won! In a future post we’ll dive deeper into tips and tricks on how to create the perfect pitch for emerging fashion designers!