Plan early – obviously
If you’ve been before it’ll hardly need saying, but book stand space as early – as much as a year in advance – to get a decent available spot. Most companies will designing stands by the six month mark. Most usefully, prep should be an ongoing process of ‘checking in little and often’ on the tasks you have to do.
The same goes for hotels. Consider discussing next year’s budgets internally beforehand, and block-booking instantly for the following year. Leave it too late and you’ll like-as-not be stuck with sky-high costs or a long commute.
Keep stand design open
… If you want to encourage walk-by traffic that is. Unless you have equipment, information or people you want to keep private there’s no excuse for closed-off stands. Most of the time you’ll benefit from designing something spacey, inviting and interactive.
Don’t cheap out
Show season is when you put the CFO on suicide watch.
You need to resign yourself to the fact that shows are wallet-meltingly expensive. It’s just a fact of life. It’s usually best just to suck it up.
If you’re a smaller company looking for a more cost-effective way of exhibiting, consider either exhibiting with a partner, or utilising one of the excellent ‘Trade and Investment’-style pavilions organised by country-governments, and designed to offer affordable floor space to smaller companies.
Although this wouldn’t apply in every case, more often than not we would tend to advise against setting up off the show floor. By all means, party wherever you want. But when it comes to workable spaces, you’re setting up a considerable barrier for customers and journalists if you exhibit, say, in a hotel room. The whole point is that the industry can be seen in one location, and many will be loath to leave the building.
When preparing promotional and PR material before the show timing is critical
The month before Embedded World is a busy time, with everyone vying for attention, (usually with a PR aim of driving journalist traffic to their stalls).
Generally-speaking, unless you’re a big name or are releasing a particularly fascinating bit of news, putting a release out at the show or a week ahead will mean you’ll likely get ‘drowned out’ in the noise.
Consider making announcements mid-Jan if you want to hit the relevant news cycles, or a good 3-4 weeks beforehand if you want to pitch for journalist attendance at your stand: This will give you a better chance of being fresh in journalists’ minds.
Many journalists finalise the majority of their appointments in the week or so before the show, with all invites in-hand. Call earlier than this to get on their radar, but don’t be too alarmed if your attendee numbers remain a little low until the final week. We’ve often found that the final 50-70% of bookings are finalised within the last two weeks.
Prep meeting notes and media briefing sheets for your staff
So they know what they’re doing, and what they’re talking about. It will pay to ensure that you, or your agency, are thorough. As a minimum, list who they’re seeing, times/venues, photographs, contact details, recent topics the journalist has covered, anticipated topics of conversation, and notes on the outlet. Even if your spokespeople don’t read them, you’ve got a handy crib-sheet with which to brief them. And these are vital during a busy and hectic show.
If you have meetings lined up, send a final reminder the day before the show
You can never be too thorough. When diaries get busy, appointments get missed. Be sure to include contact details.
A few members of the Wildfire electronics team will be at Embedded World. Email us for an introduction.