What Happens at CES... Doesn't Have to Stay at CES
The saying always goes, “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas,” but in my recent trip to Sin City that was one thing I definitely did not want to happen. I was at the International CES Conference on behalf of FWV client GEAR4, a global provider of innovative iPod, iPhone and iPad accessories. My job was to help launch the Renew Sleep Clock, a life-changing app that enables you to track, manage and monitor your sleep from your iPod, iPhone or iPad, and make sure it did not get left in the desert dust. But in a sea of technology companies at the world’s largest consumer electronic trade show, it can be difficult to get noticed. Below are five tips that helped our client be the “sleeper hit” of CES, garnering coverage in USA Today, SmartMoney, CNET and MSNBC.
1). Procrastination is Not Your Friend
Long before the trek to Vegas, we started reaching out to reporters, some of whom who we knew well and others we hadn’t yet met in person, making CES a part of every pitch and conversation. Whether a reporter was following up on a press release or our team was sending along product samples, we made a it a point to extend a friendly and personal invitation starting three months in advance, before their calendars filled up.
2). Put your Facebook and Twitter Stalking Skills to Task
Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter enable all of us to be novice private detectives. Put these skills to use and compile a cheat sheet with pictures and information on the top journalists you want to get your client in front of. Whether I was at a restaurant, walking the strip or at the conference, I was able to easily recognize the reporters and make a connection.
Twitter also had a huge presence at CES and gave us an inside, real-time look at everything happening at the conference. By following journalists on Twitter, I could immediately see what stories were catching their attention, what events they are attending and if they are looking for certain topics to cover.
3). Exhibit at Press Events
One of the most successful things we did at CES was exhibit the Renew Sleep Clock at ShowStoppers, a meet the press event. I must admit, it was a bit of a PR professional’s dream to have hundreds of journalists in the same room all at once. The face-to-face time we had with reporters provided us the opportunity to go into more detail about our products than a press release alone. It was also great to meet some of the reporters I had been exchanging calls and emails with for many months in person, and to reconnect with old friends.
4). Prepare, Prepare and Prepare Some More
Make sure to arrive to your conference with everything a reporter will need to cover your company. I found that an electronic press kit was one of the most common things asked for by reporters. They want to be able to instantly download your information and start writing immediately as they are usually working on extremely tight deadlines. In the time it would have taken to follow-up with an email and press release, the reporter would have already moved on to the next story.
5). Be Assertive
Reporters are busier than ever so it can be easy for your email to get lost. Don’t be afraid to follow up. Many of the reporters that had agreed to meet me in Vegas thanked me for reaching back out while at CES to remind them of the meeting. But remember: there is a fine line between being assertive and being overly aggressive.
While CES is now in the past, many other large trade shows and conferences are on the horizon. So next time you are stressing about how to get your company to stand out in a crowd, remember to do your research, plan and most importantly be personable, relatable and well-informed about who you are talking to and what you are talking about.
The Renew Sleep Clock on CNET and VentureBeat at ShowStoppers during CES 2012