MWC: A call to action pt II
Only 18 days until Christmas (woohoo!) and for many of us this means just two weeks left of work. But come January 3rd we’ll be staring down the barrel of MWC 2018. Hopefully you will have read and acted upon my recent post on the MWC planning tips and ‘must-dos’ for October, November and December, placing you in a strong position to achieve your PR goals.
Now is the time to plan for the New Year, so here’s part II of my mini-series offering advice to exhibitors and attendees on how to prep for MWC from January onward.
Journalists are returning to work post-Christmas. Admittedly, in the first week back they’ll unlikely delight at being at the receiving end of a call from a PR trying to schedule a client into their MWC calendar.
Analysts, however, do start booking in meetings from early January and appreciate this communication far more than last-minute contact weeks before the show. Ensure your PR team is making initial email communication with relevant analysts, sharing information on main discussion points, the spokespeople available and any demonstrations you’re presenting at MWC.
Pre-show media awareness is critical to at- and post-show success. Press activity should be ramped up, and buzz created about your company before MWC to ensure that attendees have heard your company’s messaging and want rather than have to see you during the show.
Inclusion in pre-MWC features is essential, positioning your company firmly on the Mobile World Congress map. This is also an opportunity to test-drive the messaging developed in November, before your leadership team speaks to media, analysts and prospective customers come February.
Now is the time to start contacting journalists in earnest, and whilst you will get push-back from some, providing snappy, interesting insight into your company and demos will ensure you’re top of their list when it comes to booking in meetings. Many emails will get lost amongst the hundreds that journalists will receive, so ensure you PR team is also speaking to them on the phone when possible.
You should also look to finalise an evening itinerary for your team, book restaurants, and share diaries. Everyone in your team should be on the same page when it comes to messaging, and in the same place when it comes to attending industry and social events. Work with your PR team to ensure that you have developed messaging that will resonate with the media and analyst communities, and which also supports the corporate objectives of your business.
Central to your plans should be the annual Babel Boat Party! Tapas, wine, and sea air are the perfect antidote to a long day at the Fira, so make sure you’ve RSVP-ed to guarantee your place aboard the good ship Babel.
With just weeks to go, February should predominantly be spent confirming and concluding, rather than considering and arranging. The exception here is press releases. Messaging and announcements can easily get drowned out in at-show MWC noise, with the major players all clamouring for attention and column inches. The weeks running up to the show, in February, can be a great time to put out press releases, helping to elevate the status of your company and help secure last-minute briefings.
Spend the days leading up to the show conducting pre-show briefings, double checking all appointments, checking in for flights, and reaffirming what your company should (and, importantly, should not!) reveal during the show.
Mobile World Congress can be a powerful tool for launching or lasting in an industry which is getting more competitive, disruptive and unpredictable. By choosing the right PR agency and planning ahead, your company can at least predict show success for 2018.
In the meantime, all the best for Christmas, a prosperous New Year and a marvellous MWC!