PR Tip: How to Keep Track of the Universe of Tech Events

March 31, 2015

by Travis Van, Founder, ITDatabase and Vilan Trub, Business Wire

It’s getting hard to even think of tech as an “industry” anymore.

Tech is much bigger than any one vertical (like automotive or financial services). Tech’s more like a galaxy or universe. And keeping track of the tech industry’s tens of thousands of events is like trying to count stars in the sky.

As technology has become “horizontal” and deeply impacts every single industry, Business Wire’s Trade Show Group has seen an explosion of events. Mega-shows like CES, Mobile World Congress and a handful of others are hugely important – but today, most important tech companies are also event organizers, and every technology that has any sort of inertia has its own dedicated user groups and regional workshops.

TradeShow Calendar 2

For the modern marketing and PR pro, promoting technology requires knowing the most important events that matter to the audience(s) you’re targeting – and this task has truly become a nightmare. You have to discover events, you have to qualify their importance and relevance, and you have to stay on top of dates and deadlines.

Everyone knows about CES, but how do you discover the new wearables conferences that are being hosted by top tier vendors and investors? Everyone knows about OSCON, but how do you find all of the influential hackathons that attract open source developers at regional levels?  Each industry has its well-known behemoths, but then at the next-level the important (but smaller) and new (but hot) events are the needles in the haystack….

To address this obvious pain point for tech companies, Business Wire has co-created TechCalendar – a new directory of tech events that is much more comprehensive and easy to use than any other available method. We’ve isolated the hardest parts of discovering and tracking tech events and boiled it down into a much simpler workflow. With this tool, you can find all the tech events or awards relevant to you by simply searching keywords, topics, in the tech industry’s most comprehensive database (12,000 events and growing every day).

TechCalendar 2015 Example

In addition to keeping track of industry events, TechCalendar allows you to also follow organizers and topics that match your interests so that all opportunities are accessible with a single click. And you can integrate your TechCalendar with your calendar client (Outlook, Google Calendar, etc.) and share calendars with everyone on your team (or export to .CSV / Excel).

For tech companies, the pain of tracking tech events is universal. No one has time these days to try to track all of this manually, in spreadsheets. If you’ve found yourself struggling to find your way in the universe of tech events, give TechCalendar a look.

Click here to tell your colleagues about TechCalendar: http://ctt.ec/kUiCU

Learn everything you need to know about increasing visibility and impact while at trade shows by downloading our guide at: http://go.businesswire.com/Tradeshow-Publicity-Guide 


The secrets behind press conferences, product reveals and trade show marketing

February 24, 2015

By Raschanda Hall, Director of Global Media Relations, Business Wire

Trade shows are all about product reveals, updates and, engaging media.  And by engagement I mean, “come ye media and tell the world of the things you have learned today.”  All meant to guide consumers into the conversion funnel, from awareness to action, faster and farther.  The Chicago Auto Show is no different.

Chicago Auto ShowMany exhibiting auto manufacturers will host exciting and sometimes theatrical and humorous press conferences geared toward glamming up the reveals and editorial coverage.

A successful press conference and product reveal is virtually a Hollywood production, and with sticker prices nearing $500,000, what you’ll hear from the communicators responsible for pulling off these events is that you have to nail the basics.

Birthing an automobile:
Preparation and planning are fundamental tenets of public relations. As the dust settles on one show, exhibitors are looking ahead at ideas for next year. According to Curt McAllister, Midwest public relations manager for Toyota Motor Sales, USA, “This is a little bit of Hollywood. Typically a press conference reveal [the birth of an automobile as he called it] may last all of 20-25 minutes and will probably range between half a million to a million dollars to produce. It’s the closest thing we get to Hollywood here in the auto industry. A lot of preparation is involved.  There is constant communication with our media to let them know we are going to do something big in that city so that they can save a spot on their schedules, and we can ensure a really good attendance.”

Authentic messages and messengers:
“Focus on what’s changed, what’s new, and why you did it,” says Andy Love, the head of car product marketing for Chrysler Group.  “Explain things in an easy-to-understand way.  If you have a new safety feature, help the audience relate with a story.  Explain how things matter and fulfill a need.  If it’s a high-end technology show, how it is easy to use and how it applies to their lives.”

Wendy Orthman is the Manager of the Midwest Region for Chrysler Group Communications.  She works with Chrysler

2015 Dodge Viper GTC

2015 Dodge Viper GTC

executives to get them ready to present on the big stage by first having them present at smaller shows.  “We want our executives at these shows. You want to make sure the speakers you choose have a high enough title that they attract the media. Their quotes bring authenticity and have significance and weight.  The sweet spot is when you have someone with title that can speak with knowledge and be impactful to the media.”

James Zahn, the pop culture and lifestyle blogger better known as The Rock Father, has seen his fair share of press conferences. “Excitement and Enthusiasm. It’s all about the two E’s. Don’t make us [journalists and bloggers] feel like you’re giving us the company line.  If a speaker sounds passionate about the business or product, that makes it more fun for us.”

Show up differently:

SpongeBob Inspired Toyotal Sienna

SpongeBob Inspired Toyotal Sienna

There is a lot of competition for news at these tradeshows and many of your competitors are also holding press conferences. You want to think of how you can show up differently.  Nissan of North America flipped the order of their press conference reveals. “A lot of other guys, they would do a slow build up and reveal the vehicle at the end. We do the opposite,” says Joe Gallant, Manager of Shows & Exhibits at Nissan.  “We keep the speeches short and we reveal the vehicle almost right away.”

The showbiz side of your product reveal means nothing if it doesn’t further your message. “There are very extravagant and flamboyant ways to pull a drape off a car. But don’t get over your budget, and be realistic. Make sure the message and the product is at the heart of it.  If you get so caught up in the smoke and mirrors you’re going to lose your audience,” warns McAllister.

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Business Wire’s Karen Reynolds on Tradeshow Tips

October 15, 2010

Tradeshows are still one of the most important channels for both B2B and B2C companies to show their products and services to interested buyers. With so many major shows coming up in the next several months, what strategies can help you maximize your tradeshow marketing investment?

Karen Reynolds, Regional Manager, Business Wire/Boston offers some tradeshow guidelines in a blog post at the Publicity Club of New England site. Click over and spend a few minutes of your Friday getting some great advice.


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