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Industry conferences and events play a critical role in any public relations strategy. At our high-tech PR agency, our clients attend a variety of trade shows throughout the year, from RSA to Black Hat to the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit. After more than a decade of planning and working these events, we’ve learned that the more you do before the show, the bigger the payoff for your clients. Read on for our conference tips and to find out how to get the most out of conferences.
Here’s how advance efforts maximize the PR benefits of a major event:
Setting up media interviews strategically instead of “en masse.” With so much going on, it’s important to remember that more isn’t necessarily better. Most recently at the RSA Conference in April, our account teams focused on connecting client executives with reporters for relationship building conversations. Positioning our experts as industry thought leaders has proven successful time and time again. When big news breaks, you can’t underestimate the value of having influential journalists recognize your clients as trusted resources, resulting in residual, impactful media placements.
Generating social media buzz beforehand – as well as ‘at the scene.’ Engaging with the media, attendees and competitors on social media prior to and during the event remains essential. Every conference has a hashtag these days, so it’s highly advisable to follow news by searching the hashtag daily. We help ensure that our clients are part of the social media conversation, so they can distinguish their expertise while reaching attendees and potential IT purchase decision makers. During show week, it pays off when you use a multimedia approach and post booth pictures, links, blogs, video and company news.
Standing out. When I was walking the floor at RSA last month, I couldn’t help but appreciate the significance of differentiating your client’s value amid a crowded sea of competitors looking to do the same. This is especially challenging when every company’s solution serves the same niche (in this case, cybersecurity). At W2, we execute our full services to stay up with competitors and develop creative ways to showcase our clients. We leverage our content division to generate pre-event blogs to build up presence in advance, for example, and hold brainstorm sessions so our clients differentiate themselves on the floor when it matters most.
With our strategic, full services offerings, we’re helping more and more tech companies maximize exposure at industry events and position their company messaging in the most effective way possible. If that sounds like something you’d like to discuss, please do contact us.
Christine Blake is a senior account executive at W2 Communications.