Major trade shows, conferences and conventions are where reputations – company and individual – are made or broken, live or die.
At IBC there will be about 1,700 exhibitors, 1,000 plus/minus press representatives and 58,000 M&E industry executives from around the globe attending to learn what tomorrow holds for the industry and them.
They are also going to be attending to:
- Gain an insight into next generation technologies/products
- Sell or be sold products/technologies
- Cover presentations, look at what’s new/what’s hot, talk with exhibitors and other attendees
- Establish/renew business and personal relationships
Too many publicists seem to think it doesn’t matter if the press person/industry analyst is focused on backoffice business systems, content distribution/ad programmatics, content creation/storage or network management; if they’re at IBC they should be interested in their company, their products.
If they aren’t, why are they attending IBC?
Besides, it probably wouldn’t matter to your boss … he/she is looking for volume, not quality.
Are you kidding me?
The key is to leverage everything the PR person does to maximize company/product impact while minimizing wasted time and money.
Come to grips with the fundamental fact that most of the press come to events with a product category, agenda and a list of gotta-see companies.
Carpet bombing them with booth invites/pleas won’t win friends.
IBC publicity should be part of your total, year-round program not the program. Focus on the people you know and work with on a regular basis. Add to that list those media and analyst pros wo can help you reach/influence the company’s customers.
The challenge for each of your announcements is that you’re competing with everyone else at IBC for mindshare. They want the same thing you want – to create the greatest impact at the show.
Key announcements before the show means you will get advanced coverage so people–customers, prospects, partners and the media–will visit the booth, making the event more profitable.
Do the best you can for the company, management, marketing, the products and the media.
3. Boost the Stand
Event coverage doesn’t begin with the mad rush onto the floor on the opening morning of the show.
There are excellent pre-show events and venues on the show floor that help editors/reporters see a large number of companies and products in areas such as launch pad, partners’ pavilion, future zone to get a quick overview and then schedule follow-up meetings. Be creative, explore all of your options
These events are excellent for getting the attention of attending media instead of clogging their inboxes with notes that say:
- I know you’re being inundated but…
- Hope you’re having a great day…
- Haven’t heard back on my earlier (three) emails…
IBC areas/events are excellent opportunities to see old friends again and meet new ones. They are ideal for pressing the flesh, exchange cards, giving them a quick elevator pitch, scheduling in-depth discussion the booth.
4. Online press kit
Almost every event today is going green with a paperless press room; get over your loss of late-night kit stuffing
Develop your own package that meets your objectives:
- Develop a schedule of announcements starting before the show, not everything going live the first day of the show
- Take advantage of IBC’s and online media services’ pre-show, daily summaries going to the media people
- Think in terms of really educating, informing, exciting the people who access your online press kit with PPTs, videos
- Pinpoint the direct access location of your press kit well before the show and publish the link in your pre-show, show activities
- Print special cards that give summaries of your announcements along with the press kit link and note taking space to give media people throughout the show.
5. Make it news
- The hard part is the writing.
- It’s called “news” for a reason.
- It’s about new products, new services and new applications.
- It’s about establishing the company’s position, focus and direction.
- It is not about including copies of releases from the past six months.
- It is not about stuffing the online kit with data sheets and brochures.
Doing your job in a smart, creative, professional fashion will ensure you stand above the gazillion other firms clamoring, begging to get some/any media coverage.
After the show ends, your real PR job should begin.
Hopefully, you took clear, concise notes of all of your editorial meetings including what your folks and you promised to find out about and provide to the media person.
If they’re looking for more technical information, application data, photos, after-event interviews; deliver.
If they want (and you committed to) review product, get it scheduled and let them know when they should expect it.
In simple terms, follow-up … follow-up … follow-up!