March 4, 2013
In February, Kellen Communications had the opportunity to be part of the Public Relations team for the American International Toy Fair, which is the largest toy and youth product trade show in the Western hemisphere. An event only open to members of the youth product industry and media, Toy Fair attracts about 33,000 attendees, including 1,000 members of the press. Media coverage is a major attraction to Toy Fair for exhibitors, therefore, the PR team works hard to generate excitement among members for new innovations in the industry. The Toy Fair Press Center is the hub for all of this activity.
The Kellen Communications team that staffed Toy Fair has put together a few tips on how to run a successful press center that will cater to all the needs of media attendees:
- Create a “safe haven” for the media: Walking the show floor with a media badge can be a little overwhelming as so many exhibitors are excited to show their products off. By creating a ‘Media Only’ area, members of the press can comfortably write stories, catch up on email or just relax without worrying about having to dodge pitches from eager exhibitors.
- Be a resource for the media: What’s the point in having a great space if you can’t help the press out when they need it? Make sure your team knows essential information about the show: Show facts and information, the layout of the show floor, the correct spokespeople to connect them to, even the location of the closest bathroom or Starbucks.
- Remember the small details: Think about what you might forget or be unable to bring on a business trip and try to provide that for the media attendees. Phone chargers, ethernet cables, loaner desktop computers, even coffee and light snacks can make a big difference. If someone asks for something you don’t have – try to find a way get it for them or point them in the right direction.
- Every member of the media counts: Treat all media with respect! If they have been credentialed and are at the show it means they are planning on covering your event or are interested in the industry. Be as helpful as possible to all members of the media from large broadcast crews to bloggers with a smaller following. Building relationships with media can influence whether the show coverage gets published.
- Like (or pretend to like) what you are doing: Members of the media are much more likely to approach and use press center staff as a resource if the PR team looks excited about what they are doing. Don’t let poor attitudes rub off on media. Just smiling should be the easiest way to please your guests.
Do you currently run a Press Center at your trade show? If so, let us know your tips – we’d love to hear them! And check out pictures from Toy Fair below to learn more about how our Press Center worked.