Breaking Through the Noise: Using Event Insights to Generate Coverage
By Brittany Bevacqua | On July 15, 2014
One of the questions we frequently get from clients is: How can we get press around industry events? The answer often depends on a variety of factors, including:
- The event type – Is this a major conference, or a smaller, more intimate event?
- The people – Will the Apples and Googles of the world be there? Is media attending and are they taking meetings? How many people and/or companies will be there?
- The spend – Did you secure booth space, or are you flying solo? Are you a sponsor, or have an executive presenting in a session?
- The news – Will you make a “newsworthy” product/service announcement? Releasing interesting data or survey findings?
Unless you’re one of the big tech guys, the reality is that most companies will not be able to get consistent coverage from every event they attend. This is particularly true if there are no major announcements planned or no dedicated presence for the company (i.e. no booth or speaking slot).
If you find yourself in the situation above, don’t fret. There are ways to get creative and set the stage for media coverage well after the event has ended. One simple approach I recommend is to record what you’re seeing/hearing at the event and turn those insights into a blog post (or a series for bigger events) for your website. From there, the content can often be repurposed for proactive pitch topics, predictions and future byline topics for PR efforts.
Consider the following as a guideline for the type of content that’s of interest to the press:
- The keynote address(es): Who spoke and what was the topic? How does that relate back to your business? Did you agree or disagree with any of the points made by the speaker(s)?
- The conference theme(s): What were the overall event themes? What was your take on them based on your position in the market? Were some important themes overshadowed or missing all together?
- The individual sessions: Which presentations did you attend? What were some of the insights? Did you agree or disagree with what was said, or feel that something needed clarification or further explanation?
- The attendees: What were some of the more popular sessions? What questions were asked during presentations? Was there a live poll, and if so, what were the findings? Were your customers/partners there? If so, what were their takeaways from the event?
- The future: What was talked about as the “next big thing?” Is that realistic, or not? What do you see as the future challenges and opportunities in your space?
- The news: What’s making headlines and how does that relate back to what’s happening at the conference? Is there any tie to industries that are getting consistent attention in the press (i.e. financial services, healthcare, retail)?
- The assets: What marketing materials have you created to support/reject what’s being talked about at the event? Do you have a small-scale survey, whitepaper or infographic that you can use to further the conversation?
These are just a few things you can do to get more from your events and extend the value of your PR efforts. Now, I’d like to hear from you. What do you think of this approach? Have you done something similar for your company or clients? What other conference insights have been of interest to the media from your experience? I’m looking forward to your comments!