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The Pros and Cons of Press Conference at IMTS
By Mary Uhrina, IMTS Public Relations
As you prepare online and CD press kits and determine what elements of your exhibit are newsworthy, you may also be asking yourself whether you should also hold a press conference at IMTS. It's a great question.
More than 400 journalists are preparing to cover IMTS 2012. Providing them with information at a press conference can certainly draw attention to and possible editorial coverage of your products and services. Conventional wisdom says press conferences should be reserved for major announcements.
Food for Thought Before You Plan a Press Conference
Before you plan one, ask yourself: is my news interesting enough? The kiss of death for a press conference and potential future events is to have an editor leaving thinking he or she wasted valuable time. And, be aware that some reporters covering IMTS shy away from press conferences because they must cover an enormous amount of ground in a limited time.
Below are some helpful hints that will guide you in answering the important newsworthiness question:
- Is your product or service new or timely and of interest to the trade press or attendees invited?
- Are there alternative means of delivering your message that would be equally or more effective such as one-on-one meetings with editors during the show?
- Will reporters walk away from your press conference with information and insights they couldn't have found anywhere else?
- Can you offer reporters special advantages, such as interesting visuals, a demonstration or hearing from experts and other important figures?
Keep in mind that while these events broadly deliver information to trade editors at a single event, coordination of a successful one requires a high level of expertise, strategy and a significant investment of staff time planning.
Some Helpful Advice for Your Press Conference
Make sure it's good and lives up to its billing. If not, reporters will probably be much harder to bring out for a future event.
Know your publications and the editors. Find out who on the staff is coordinating IMTS coverage and send the invitation to that person. Invite only those who cover your products and services and don't clutter the inboxes of those who do not. Include a media alert in your virtual IMTS.com press kit.
Please note that for IMTS 2012 NO press kits will be accepted in the Media Center – all materials should be posted to IMTS.com.
We will keep a list of exhibitors who have press kits available in their booths in the Media Center. We also will provide a download service for members of the media who provide us a list of exhibitors whose kits they need. So, post your materials to IMTS.com!
Make the event convenient. Hold the press conference on site at McCormick Place versus inviting reporters to a venue that requires additional travel time.
Try to keep it short. More than 1,300 exhibitors are at the show promoting products and services. Be respectful of the reporters' tight schedules.
How We Can Help You Make Your Press Conference a Success
Whether you are holding it in your booth or using a room at McCormick Place, make sure you register your event. This is the only way you will know whether there is a conflict that might affect attendance at your event. This also ensures that your event will appear on a daily schedule posted on IMTS.com and on bulletin boards in the Media Center at the show.
Register your press conferences by contacting Mary Uhrina at 630-240-3139 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On August 1 we will begin making available a list of pre-registered editors which is a great place to start for invitations and follow-up. Contact our media relations specialist Mary Uhrina at 630-240-3139 or email@example.com to obtain a list.
If you are planning a press conference outside your booth, you can book a room using the Meeting Room Request Form in your E-Kit. Private meeting rooms are available for a rental fee and can accommodate any group size.You may also call the IMTS Exhibitor Line at 800-828-SHOW (7469) to discuss your specific needs.
You need clearance to hold a press conference before or after regular hours of trade show operation. Please notify the show office to make special arrangements for early or late access.
All food and beverage items for press conferences must be purchased through SAVOR, which has exclusive food and beverage rights within the facility. Contact SAVOR at 312-791-7250 or see the Catering Order Form (for in booth catering orders) in the E-kit.