Should you hold a press conference at The Rental Show 2017?

Remember, the industry press who attend the show have very full schedules (usually set 3-4 weeks in advance) and don’t have much time to waste. In addition to attending events, conducting interviews and scouting for new stories on the floor, they also have to write, edit and file stories with their magazines, newsletters and websites quickly and efficiently.

A lengthy press conference where little new information is presented is of no value. And waiting until the start of the show to invite members of the press to attend is an exercise in futility.

So, how can we avoid frustration and create success for both the exhibitor (you) and the media (them)?

Make sure your press conference is worth attending!
Make sure the information you’re presenting is fresh, new and relevant to the audiences these journalists  represent. Too many times, companies call press conferences without having a compelling reason to invite the increased attention and scrutiny of the journalists who participate.

If you are introducing a new product — or a new line of products — don’t rely on a boring presentation and collateral material to do the trick for you when you could invite select members of the press to a demonstration of the new products in your booth on the trade show floor. Be sure to check with show management for approval in advance.

Save the press conference for really special announcements where the “back and forth” of asking and answering questions from the media can be compelling and valuable.

Do your advance work ahead of time.
Reporters, editors and photographers often have their schedule filled before they arrive at The Rental Show. If you want to get on their “dance card” you have to contact them early and give them a reason to add you to their schedule.

The Rental Show’s Press Office will make sure all journalists who attend the show are aware of scheduled press conferences, but don’t count on that last-minute reminder to drive attendance to your event. Ask journalists to RSVP so you can have material prepared especially for them, provide refreshments or a meal (over the lunch hour) or set up a time for a one-on-one with a company executive after the conference if it’s appropriate.

Come prepared.
Don’t count on your ability to pull together a PowerPoint presentation in your hotel room the night before your press  conference. Not only do you run the risk of a technical failure, but a presentation given without practice or an objective eye toward quality gives a bad impression that can neutralize the impact of your press event.

Try to keep your presentation to no more than 25-30 minutes in length — that way you can have 10 minutes or so after your presentation for a question-and-answer session with interested members of the media.

Bring a press kit — just don’t bring all the paper.
If we’ve learned one thing over the past few years, it’s that the media appreciates the effort put forth by companies to provide news releases, product photos, case studies and demonstration videos — but they don’t want all the fancy brochures, sheets of paper, pocket folders and DVDs. Do yourself (and the media) a favor and organize all of your files on a flash drive/ jump drive that they can plug right into their computer via the USB port.

You’ll be surprised how quickly your news will be picked up if you provide it in a format that can be easily assimilated into a website or FTP upload to an editor’s inbox.

Logistics are on you.
Still want to do a press conference? That’s great! We’ll help make sure the room is reserved and that you’ll have a table, chairs, podium and projection screen — but you need to make sure you have the AV support and catering you need. Once we’ve confirmed your reservation, we’ll send you contact information for catering and AV support at the Show.

Key contacts are:

Think about how you use your time.
We recommend that the first half hour of the 90 minutes you reserve for your press conference is used for set-up.  It will take you some time to make sure everything is just the way you want it, so be safe and invite the media to come to your conference :30 minutes after your reservation time. (For example: make the “official” start time 10:30 a.m. if you’ve reserved a 10 – 11:30 a.m. press conference.)

Any other questions? Please feel free to email us for more information: mike@bawdenlareaupr.com