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Dealing with Media at Events

Attending conferences is a challenging task. 

You make a plan beforehand, and your goals are now clear in your mind as you enter the venue. You talk to as many people as possible, trying to find the ones who can take you closer to your goals. Many times, a few minutes into the conversation, you realise this person is not interesting for you, and you feel like you wasted time. You start the next conversation with renovated stamina. Then a workshop is starting, you're almost late. But where are the bathrooms?!

average conference attendant

At a conference, you want to do everything: network, listen to keynotes, join workshops, exchange business cards, get free coffee, learn about new tools, and enjoy a cold beer at the end while patting yourself on the back for the great experience you just went through.

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The bottom line here is: everyone will be busy and you cannot achieve everything in one day. And don't forget the toughest task of all: dealing with the media.

Media people, such as journalists, bloggers, and influencers, will be among the busiest at the conference. Everyone wants a piece of them. You can't really pitch your product to them when they have 3 other people tugging at their sleeves.

But what if we told you there's a way to make them like you instantly...

What will media people like about you?

  • You respect their time and privacy
  • You know what they write and where they stand
  • You know your story
  • You can show them why your story is relevant to them
  • You provide all the necessary information and assets, and are able to give more upon request

In other words, make it easy for them to deal with you.

Before the conference

Basically, the more you prepare beforehand, the better the results. Begin by getting your story straight and making the most important assets easily available. A great place to do this is in your online newsroom. Here's how to get started.

Define what you stand for

From your newsroom, you can share your company’s news and define your brand before someone else does it for you. You'll need to show what your company stands for, what you want to achieve and where you want to be. As Simon Sinek said, "People don't buy what you do; they buy WHY you do it". 

A few common questions you should be able to nail:

  • What’s the main product/service you’re selling?
  • What is your background?
  • What is your target audience?
  • How fast are you growing?
  • What are you hoping to get out of the event?
  • What are you most looking forward to at the conference?

Provide your media assets

You never know when or where you'll encounter a new lead. If someone wanted to see screenshots of your app now, would they find them online?

Make your most important media assets available online for anyone who may be interested in using them.

After the conference

Finally, there's a lot you can do after the conference. Follow up on those warm leads, connect new people with each other, and see how you can help with the aftermath. 

Follow up with everyone you met

Not a month after, but now!

If you were on beast mode at the conference you probably collected a lot of business cards. Hopefully you still remember (or at least wrote down) what these people need. Now it's time to help them out.

You can create email campaigns with customised messages for the different people you met. Share what you learned at the conference and don't forget to explain why you should start doing business together ;)

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Patrick de Laive
Co-founder, The Next Web

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