Truth is, I'm skilfully avoiding talking about InfoComm. I'm not ready. As of this writing, the show is less than 30 days away. There are so many exciting things that will happen at the show. And, unfortunately, I won't be able to write about all of them.
So, how can you up your marketing game and get your pieces published for the show? With over a decade of InfoComm marketing experience, and now being at the helm of SCN and the InfoComm Show Dailies, here is some advice from me to you.
Let me give the standard disclaimer: These are my opinions and mine alone. They don't reflect the opinion of my employer, my co-workers, the InfoComm Show, etc.
Press Releases: Around show time, I'm getting 25+ press releases a day (and that could be a generously low estimate). How do you make your stand out? First and foremost, give me everything I need all at once. Be sure the release includes all the product details and your booth number. Don't forget to include images and the company's social handles. I want to share you news so make it easy for me to tag you on Twitter!
Break down all that product mumbo-jumbo and be sure to give me more than the what. I want to know the why and how. Why does your widget make financial sense? How does your widget make life easier for installers, experience designers, and consultants?
We prefer releases in a Word doc so it's easy to copy and paste all those fun facts. I like to receive multiples images, but please don't embed 10 MB files in an e-mail. Have you ever tried to download a large image using a VPN over hotel WiFi? Yeah...not fun. If you can, use a service like DropBox or Google Drive. Put all of the assets I'll ever need in one place, including the Word doc, contact info, and images. Don't forget to provide captions for the images!
Also, get on The Wire for avnetwork.com. It's a free service that automatically uploads your press releases to avnetwork.com. Also, it's where we dig for stories for the InfoComm Sneak Peeks e-mails.
Need instructions for The Wire? E-mail me: email@example.com.
Social Media: Be sure your social media, especially your Twitter account, is active year-round, not just shortly before the big show. If you haven't tweeted in the last six months, @SCNMag probably isn't following you. We routinely go through and unfollow inactive accounts.
Social media is the perfect free and fun way to engage the industry in thought-provoking conversations, or show off the fun side of your brand (who doesn't love to post a funny situational gif?). Don't forget about Instagram. I sometimes find my next systems snapshot on Instagram when I see a really cool AV installation.
Post plenty of #AVSelfie pics—we want to see you and your staff having fun at the show. And you totally want to be featured in the official #AVSelfie video!
Don't forget to use the official hashtag: #InfoComm18
Pre-Show Phone Calls: The latest trend is to get editors on a pre-show call to talk all about the cool technology you'll have at the show. Great, right? For you, maybe. For me, no. On a normal day, I'm busy. Three weeks before the show? Can't eat, can't sleep, can't breathe busy. While I'd love to talk to everyone about their revolutionary product launches, I just simply don't have enough time in the day. I'd much rather have a press release with all the details I need. I'll file it away and pull the info when I'm looking to write about that particular product category.
Free Marketing: Did you know AVIXA offers a ton of free marketing resources for the InfoComm show? If you're not already, you should be taking advantage of these services. Click here to get them: http://www.infocommshow.org/for-exhibitors/free-marketing-support/free-marketing-resources
Don't forget to tell everyone you know about your Exhibitor VIP Code. Attendees will love you for getting them onto the show floor for free. Make it fun and turn it into a contest for your own staff—see who can get the most customers to use your code. Oh, and you can win up to $10,000 off your 2019 booth space if you get the most registrants! Details here: http://www.infocommshow.org/for-exhibitors/free-marketing-support/exhibitor-vip-code-contest
Want more tips like this?
Check out me, Barbara Blaskowsky (aka Queen of AVIXA), Chris Neto, and TIm Albright on the latest episode of AVSocial: #NoPosers
Want to meet me IRL at InfoComm 2018?
Then catch me (and SO many more cool #AVTweeps) at the AV Tweetup.
Wed, June 6
4 - 6 p.m.
LVCC, Room N217
Most of you know Margot Douaihy—and if you don't, you're missing out. Today is, unfortunately, her last day as Content Director of AVTechnology Magazine. I can't be too sad about it because she's staying on as Editor-at-Large, and is pursuing her dreams of being an independent storyteller.
Margot has come to be more than a co-worker to me: she's a friend, work wife, and mentor. Basically, when I grow up, I want to be her. So, on her last day as a full-time Future plc employee, here is a tribute to Miss Margot Douaihy and her many amazing qualities.
Passion Margot is one of the most passionate people I know. And she's not passionate about just one thing—she puts her heart and soul into every single thing she does. It's evident in her work. She can talk for hours about AV-over-IP, blockchain and bitcoins...all the things most people would find mundane. Not only does Margot make herself an expert, she is genuinely interested in all of those subjects. Her passion is evident in her writing. Want to see for yourself? Click here to read articles she's authored for AVTechnology Magazine.
Kindness You will not find a kinder soul than Margot's. She is genuinely interested in helping people. When I first started at Systems Contractor News, I called Margot nearly every hour on the hour with a question. She never made me feel stupid (and, trust me, some of my questions were stupid); she patiently took the time to answer each and every question I had. She's the best friend you'll ever have—one of the few people I know I can call any day, any time when I am in need of an ear to bend.
Mentor Margot is a mentor to many. She never fails to pass along her wisdom. She doesn't hold her lessons learn close to her chest; she shares them with the world so others can learn from her experiences. Margot has shown me what it truly means to be a journalist, and how to be vulnerable, honest, and inclusive. She's helped me handle the tough stories and showed me how to report the truth in difficult situations. And I know for a fact that she's helped others because she just won the 2018 Mattera Mentorship Award; this award honors "leaders who excel in mentoring and helping to shape the careers of less experienced colleagues."
Educator Educator and mentor go hand-in-hand. You can't be one without the other, and Margot is the epitome of both. Fun fact: Margot serves as a Lecturer and Advisor at Franklin Piece University in Rindge, NH. With her new found free time, I have no doubt we will see Margot teaching many AV classes at shows like InfoComm and Integrated Systems Europe (ISE). She will definitely be dropping all kinds of knowledge bombs at the SCN Think Tank and AV/IT Summit in San Jose on April 19th. And, yes, that is a semi-shameless plug.
#RESIST No matter what side of the political fence you fall on, you have to appreciate someone who fights for what they believe in...and actively works toward making the world a better place. Combine Margot's sense of social justice with her innate passion, and, as The Killers would say, "She's got soul but she's not a soldier."
So, cheers to you, Margot. Looking forward to watching where you go with life's next adventure!
Megan A. Dutta