With over 300 exhibitors expected at IP Expo in London next month, a similar number sponsoring Infosecurity Europe early this year and over 2,000 exhibitors at Mobile World Congress, the competition is fierce when it comes to event news. As part of any integrated event plan, PR teams need to decide when it is best to share news with the media to ensure it is not completely lost in the mayhem.
It's important to understand what the news is and if it is real news or only cobbled together to support the event. US companies are especially guilty of keeping big announcements for the large US events and either re-launching news at EMEA events or saving a minor product announcement for the teams across the pond.
I've tried to suggest options for launch timings below, pending the quality of your news:
1. If you have high quality news, go ahead and plan to launch it at the show - with media briefings set up at the event in advance. This is likely to give you great results with news breaking alongside the event - and keeping your spokespeople busy at the show.
2. If you have decent news and want to make sure it gets the attention it deserves, launch it two to three weeks prior to the event. This will help drum up attention for your company in the run up to the show and means you're not competing with hundreds of vendors trying to secure media briefings at the event itself.
3. If you have a tier two product launch, especially in the UK, I almost wouldn't bother unless you're just looking to tick a box on your integrated campaign list. Rather think about hot topics related to your product news and pitch interviews with the media about these topics and dovetail into your product news. But don't expect a full briefing schedule, if any.
It's definitely worth aligning your news agenda to an event but do set expectations with your stakeholders.