I have been going to DSE since 2005, and writing a blog that included coverage of said show since 2006 – so I have seen a LOT of press releases and direct marketing pieces over the past decade.
And I’ve drawn some conclusions.
First – many companies time their BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS for the opening day of the trade show. And it’s a bad idea.
Here’s why: if you are marketing to an integrator, solutions provider or someone else who buys and re-sells stuff, there’s a good chance those people are at the show. They’re not at their desk sipping coffee and sorting through emails and RSS feeds, and reading blogs. They’re at a breakfast meeting, a conference session, at the show, and after, at dinners and functions.
Next day, repeat.
Next day, hung over and on a plane most of day.
In other words, they don’t have time to read your BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.
So do the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT the week before – which gives those people time to read about it and time to factor that into their Must See list.
Second – medium to large companies have staff or (more often) third-party PR people carpet bombing poor souls like me with emails suggesting a meeting be set up at the booth with their CEO or VP Sales or whatever. “Can we set aside 30 minutes?”
Well, no – you probably can’t. Not with me. I have two days to look around and they go by in a blur, even without getting tied up in little one-on-ones. I suspect it is the same with most people with a press ribbon on their badge.
If you really want those interviews, make a compelling case that involves someone normally inaccessible (I’d book time with Google if Sergey Brin was there) or you are providing a look at something, or background, that is not more widely available. Just saying, “Hey, drop by so we can show you our shinier pots and pans!” won’t get much action.
Third – show people whatcha got. It is remarkable how often I get press releases and marketing pitches for products and services that are just text. I want to see it. So do my readers. So does everyone.
Fourth – provide some context. Don’t just announce you’ve got something that has a faster this, a lighter that, a cheaper whatever. Tell me and, by extension, my readers why that matters. Why they should care.
I was saying to a company last week that marketing on the basis of a device’s power consumption isn’t all that meaningful unless it can be equated in dollars. This is sorta OK – The NewGizmo only uses three watts. Better – a network of 100 NewGizmos could save you $1,300 annually.
Fifth – Avoid the buzz phrases and empty assertions, and get to the point. Here’s what happens when I see this: “NewCorp, a leading global provider of something, has released its next-generation of ….”
I roll my eyes like a teenager. I stop reading. I don’t cover it.
Even you are are world leading – and apparently every company is – I don’t care. Tell me whatcha got.
Finally, take the opportunities as they come. If you read this blog regularly you have probably seen a series of DSE Booth Field Guides – FREE access to a large, knowledgeable reader base to tell them what you are showing at DSE and why they should come by. It’s open to any exhibitor, and of the 100s, maybe a dozen have bothered to take 20 minutes to out something together for me.
If you want to get some free blog love, here’s how …