Introducing yourself at SelectUSA

With 75 years of trade show and in-person event experience under our belts, we’re not exaggerating when we say that SelectUSA is 10x better than any trade event that we go to annually. With every U.S. state represented plus a full array of resources and organizations that support U.S. market entry, it’s an extremely effective three days.

To ensure you are maximizing ROI at an event like SelectUSA, you’ll need a finely tuned strategy. Part 1 of our recent SelectUSA webinar series: Creating Your SelectUSA Success Plan, focuses on how to develop a unique pre, during, and post-event strategy through each of the Event’s core components.

The second step, which we cover in Part 2 of our series, is to prepare a set of tools to help you execute on that strategy, the first of which is developing your value proposition and self-introduction.

There are two types of interactions that happen at an event like SelectUSA—those that are preplanned and those that happen spontaneously on the trade show floor, in a reception, event, or workshop. Being prepared and able to take advantage of every interaction is critical to maximizing ROI.

Key Elements of a Value Proposition and Self-Introduction

The ability to articulate a clear and concise value proposition and self-introduction is something we see founders and executives struggle with all the time. Good first impressions are critical and highly impacted by how we dress, what we say, and how we interact physically.

SelectUSAAt MEET, we like to compare constructing a good value proposition and self-introduction to baby food. Baby food is easily digestible, portable, highly nutritious (impactful), and overall easy for the recipient to action.

Now imagine the thousands of messages that people are bombarded with throughout the day at SelectUSA. You want to think of your message as having the same qualities as baby food. You want it to be interesting (i.e. impactful), simple, and easy to digest—and ideally easy for the receiver to repeat to others.

Developing your Value Proposition

Simply put, value propositions are the value that the customer receives through a specific product or service from the customer’s perspective. It’s important to note that a value proposition should not reflect what you think your customer gains from your product or service. Rather, it is how the customer feels your product or service makes their life better from their perspective. What has it solved for them?

Need some help translating your company’s value proposition to the U.S. market? Contact us today.

Whatever you assume your value proposition is, think of it as a hypothesis. At MEET, we suggest that you approach every event, every interaction as an opportunity to test your value proposition’s effectiveness. Does it resonate? How do people respond? This type of data will inform and refine your value proposition(s) based on the customer or market segment you are targeting.

Not sure where to begin? Think of the top three things your customer gains from your product or service. Choose one, use it to lead your conversation, and test the reactions you receive. Keep track of your opt-in rate and continue to evolve to optimize results.

Developing your Self-Introduction

SelectUSAA self-introduction is a very clear statement of the value you provide and for whom. In the event setting, it’s important not to think of this as the 30 or 60-second introduction. This is your five or ten-second opportunity to say exactly what you do in a very simple way.

The goal of a well-crafted self-introduction is to start a conversation.

If once you’ve completed your introduction the person you’re speaking with doesn’t follow up with a question or express interest in learning more, then: a) you didn’t effectively articulate what you do, or b) what you do is not something of interest to them—which is fine.

When networking, your biggest job is not to speak but to listen, learn, and figure out where the person that’s across from you fits within your world.  Are they a resource? Are they a potential connection for people you know?

Ultimately, the best referrals come from current or former customers. Finding resources that somehow improve your customers’ experience is a great way to create more referrals.

Making sure that you represent yourself and your company in a way that is congruent with how you want to be perceived is critical at a high stakes event like SelectUSA. It’s never too late to test and retest your value proposition and your self-introduction to ensure you’re always putting your best foot forward.


MEET ( helps international B2B growth companies soft land and scale in the U.S. through trade shows and in-person events. MEET’s processes help its clients ramp-up sales quickly and maintain a steady stream of high-quality prospects going forward.  Contact Bill Kenney for a no obligation conversation or +1 (860) 573-4821.

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