MWC is the biggest mobile tradeshow on earth, with more than 107,000 attendees, including 3,500 international media. The event always sees the world’s leading tech brands showcase their new devices and deployments and this year was no different. Two ground-breaking technologies dominated conversations and created an even bigger buzz than usual: 5G and foldable phones.
But, these events don’t just happen overnight. And whilst the lights may have only just turned off at the Gran Fira Via on Friday in Barcelona, plans for next year’s event will be starting again, very soon. Before that begins, it’s a great time to reflect on MWC 2019.
Before the event
- Begin planning months before the event. Trade shows are a huge investment in both time and money. And because of that, your client will expect results. They will have so many other priorities so it's important for you to create a detailed timeline and make sure you’re sticking to it. In a situation like this, over communicating is much better than allowing things to slip so keep on top of what needs to be done and add value to your client.
- Pitch as early as possible. I read an interesting Facebook post by Capacity Magazine’s Alan Burkitt-Grey talking about how his diary filled up by January. With this in mind, work with your client to get an understanding of talking points and product announcements three months before the show. I know this is often out of our hands so if that cannot be done, make sure you continue to communicate with journalists, send them 'save the dates' make sure they know your client will be at the show.
During the event:
- Send reminders. We’ve all been there, you secure a top tier interview, your client is nervous and excited and then the journalist doesn't turn up. It feels like all the hard work and planning has gone out the window. Sometimes this is unavoidable because other meetings overrun, and tradeshows are busy. But this can be limited as much as possible by continuing dialogue with the journalist right up to the scheduled interview. If the journalist cancels or has to rearrange, you can limit the fallout and manage the spokesperson.
- Always smile. This one goes without saying but when you’re working 12-hour days, it can be a challenge. If you’re based at your client’s booth, you never know who you could be helping out. I met a number of journalists at the show and by being helpful, I was able to start to build relationships with people I know I’ll be pitching to again in future.
After the show:
- Follow up and solidify relationships. Once this dialogue has been opened, make sure that you get in contact with those journalists, and any client leads, as soon as possible. A quick note to mention it was nice meeting them can go a long way.
- Get some rest. As I can feel writing this, working at a tradeshow will take it out of you. Once it’s done, it’s important to rest-up, review the work you’ve done and celebrate your successes as you’ll be planning for the next event sooner than you think.