Today’s guest post is from Duane Nason, organizer of Pitch San Francisco ’11. Here, Nason builds his case for why a demo table is the best option for pitching your startup idea.

Launching a startup is tough, but getting new users, press coverage, and investors is even tougher. For many of us in startups, here’s three great types of events to pitch your idea:

Networking Mixers

Many metros, including the San Francisco Bay Area, have a huge selection of meet-ups, conferences, and other events for entrepreneurs to mingle. Networking mixers are a great way to meet new people and pitch your company or new idea to others. If you’re outgoing, and can manage your conversation time, you can expect to meet about 20 people per event.

Pitch to the Audience

There are a lot of great events that offer startups the chance to pitch their product to their audiences. This method usually has the startup on stage, where they give a succinct three to five minute demo. This can be a quick way to raise awareness of your awesome company, product, or service to an audience of a couple hundred attendees.

Demo Table


Many conferences, expos, and other commercial events allow startups to purchase floor space – a.k.a,, demo tables – to demo their product to the show attendees.

Here, you’re meeting with people one-on-one, so that you can talk and interact with them, get real-time feedback, and answer questions as they arise. You can cater your pitch to each individual’s needs to help convince them you’re the right company for them. Also, you can signup users on the spot, and, with a constant flow of attendees, you can expect to meet hundreds or even thousands of potential customers at a single event.

Now, I am a little biased, because I’m the organizer of Pitch San Francisco ’11, an expo event for startups. But I’m also a repeat entrepreneur who has tried all these methods, and I know what gets the best results. Since my time and, even more so, my money, is limited, I always want to make sure I go where I can get the biggest bang for my time and buck. And without a doubt, pitching your startup at a demo table is the way to go!

If you have a hot web or mobile startup, check out Pitch San Francisco ’11. It’s happening on September 8, 2011 at AT&T Park in San Francisco. More than 2,000 people will be coming, and we’re going to see some of the latest and greatest startups in the market today!

We’re pitching some conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Come join us!