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How to make the most of the 2015 International CES tradeshow

By Lisa Goldsberry

stk313097rkn-2Let PR illustrate the importance of – and help you prepare for – CES and any tradeshow

Before launching a new product, do you wish you could try it out on a smaller, more targeted group to gauge responses and gather feedback? Similarly, when you have a big announcement, it might be beneficial to roll it out slowly, starting with those who would be the most interested.

Many companies are utilizing the power of tradeshows, like the 2015 International CES, hosted by the Consumer Electronics Association in Las Vegas this week.

How tradeshows benefit your company

Journalists love tradeshows. You have numerous opportunities to attract their attention at these events. For example, you can go big by scheduling a news conference for a big announcement or you can start small by hosting a suite for more private media interviews. You can also invite media to a sneak peek of your product in your booth or sponsor the media room or the media lounge, where you get to display corporate signage and mingle with reporters in a less formal capacity.

Speakers at tradeshows can highlight their expertise and draw interest to their companies. Having your CEO speak at a tradeshow is one of the best ways to secure an audience with influential members of your industry and get them to really hear what you have to say. It can also help position your company and/or CEO as a thought-leader in your industry.

Trade events can help to set your company apart from the crowd. These can be extreme and electrifying (like an eye-catching stunt) or simply fun and elegant (like cooking classes, a scenic tour or other easy-going entertainment). Hosting these events for journalists or other key stakeholders can help to make introductions easier and even increase sales.

Why CES is special

  • More than 3,500 exhibitors will showcase their services, technologies and products.

  • CES is the largest event of its kind and has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for more than 40 years.

  • National, industry and consumer media attend this event faithfully. Also in attendance are bloggers, including those who do webcasts. Additionally, several television news programs broadcast live from this event, expanding opportunities for media coverage.

  • Session discussions will include what steps manufacturers can take to build consumer trust in devices and applications, and what areas are predicted to have the biggest impact in the coming year.

What to know before you go

With so many companies vying for attention, it is crucial to find ways for your company to stand out. Following key rules and tips can give you an advantage. For example:

Book appointments with reporters in advance.

Have real news to share. An appointment just to meet your CEO would probably not qualify.

Make the journalists’ job easy by choosing convenient meeting places and having all important information in an easily accessible format.

Be ready at all times. You never know when you’ll run into a journalist or other influential person, so develop the key points about your company beforehand to avoid being caught off guard.

Ensure that someone who can answer questions is always manning your booth.

Hire a PR firm to help you. At Axia, we are experienced in tradeshow PR and we know the right people. That means we can assist with media pitches, creating effective press kits and event support. Contact us today or download our e-book Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment to learn how we can make your next tradeshow memorable and profitable.

Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter @axiapr.

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Topics: public relations

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