PR managers, corporate comms leads, CMOs this is for you. If you're exhibiting at the show, read this. Check them off your list. The worst that's going to happen is a big sigh of relief when you realise you've done them already. The best that could happen is you realise you've forgotten something big. But better to know now than on day one of the show when your CEO notices!
1 - Have a game plan
Don't book out every waking minute of the day with meetings.
Allocate free time - not for chilling out (we wish!) but for dealing with problems that will no doubt crop up, and for networking and chatting to unexpected visitors and for walking the show floor to see what other companies are up to.
Make sure when you're in meetings there is someone else available for your spokespeople to turn to.
2 - Coordinate your marketing, promotional and PR activities
Don't blow the opportunity with lackluster marketing. Make sure your marketing materials, promotions, PR and social media efforts-before, during and after the show-are engaging, consistent and in line with your messaging and overall strategy. Yes, the show is a place to generate leads and sell some product - but just shouting the loudest out of everyone about how great you are, will not inspire anyone. If you're going to use social media think about the 80/20 rule. 80% of your content should be about the industry, and 20% about you. Yep - we know it's tough. But try it, it does work.
3 - Highlight the new
New appeals to everyone. Even if you don't have an entirely new product, think about how you can present it differently. Highlight a new application or customer case study or a compelling new feature of an existing product or service. Or, choose an existing offering that you haven't promoted previously and want to breathe life into. Try the 'so what?' test - why should the media or prospects care about this? Test everything you talk about with that question and you won't go far wrong.
4 - Prepare your staff
A trade show isn't like a day at the office. So make sure your people are trained. Employees interacting with potential customers and the media should be thoroughly briefed on announcements, new products, show highlights and your messaging. Not everyone's a born salesperson or spokesperson. So tips on talking in a way that's friendly yet natural and professional are very helpful. But don't give them a huge document to read - because they won't. And you will have wasted your time writing it (and binding it...). Think about the pitfalls you've seen before and give them advice on how to avoid those. If you'd like our top ten media tips please email Hannah - firstname.lastname@example.org
5 - Make your booth visually appealing
If you've implemented an effective marketing campaign, visitors will seek you out regardless of how good your booth looks. But you also need to attract passers-by. So make your space visually appealing and approachable. In this day and age, please ditch the "booth babes". It's not all about the freebies (unless they're really really cool) - go for eye-catching graphics, clear messages and smart booth design along with some open space.
6 - Create an experience
Once they've ventured onto your booth, the next part of the battle is getting attendees to spend quality time with you. So give them an experience or something to do-not just see. Allow them to try out your product or participate in some way. Getting visitors actively engaged will spur more than just conversation. By the way, sales teams hanging out the front of the booth attempting to shake people's hands on the way past is not what we mean, but you know that, right?
7 - Listen to the industry's brightest minds
Where else can you hear some of the industry's top influencers all in one place? Use NAB as an opportunity to listen and learn from experts and influencers. You never know what you might learn. Allocate time in your schedule for learning and networking - it could actually be the most useful thing you do!
8 - Walk the show floor
As important as activity on your own booth can be, give yourself time to walk the show floor and network. Take advantage of the opportunity to make new connections and see new technologies and innovation for yourself. It might shock your leadership team after the show if you can bring back insights on what others are doing, as we can pretty much guarantee they won't have time to lift their heads up and walk around.
9 - Measure your results
It sounds simple but too often companies don't measure their results. It's important to quantify the outcome (number and quality of visitors and leads, and types of companies) and follow up on your leads and show meetings as quickly as possible.
Consider your goals for the show:
What are you looking to achieve? Do you want to generate leads, promote new products, or create overall awareness?
How will your marketing materials and on-site activities help you achieve these goals?
Your NAB presence should be an integrated, well-coordinated effort. And don't delay in booking those important meetings!
10 - Keep up the momentum
Don't make the mistake of making a big splash at NAB and then disappearing until next year's show - or until IBC. It really p1sses the media off and they're wise to it. Build on the positive momentum with a sustained marketing, PR and social media campaign to keep your company at the forefront of customers', prospects' and influencers' minds. Funnily enough that's something we can help you with.
So you've read this. You've checked everything off, and you're basically ready to go, just one more thing - if you need some PR or marketing advice, we're hosting free one-on-one clinics at NAB. To book your slot, email Hannah Baxter at email@example.com.
Kim Willsher is part of the Red Lorry Yellow Lorry (rlyl.com) team, which has offices in London, Boston, Los Angeles and Berlin. The company specializes in B2B tech PR and customer engagement, and will be at this year's NAB show supporting clients such as Avid, Aspera and Quantum.