By SEMA Editors
Managing Media at the SEMA Show
More than 3,000 members of the media will attend the 2019 SEMA Show. Larger press conferences such as this one require a great deal of planning. Fortunately, there are simpler opportunities to engage with content producers.
More than 3,000 members of the media will attend the 2019 SEMA Show. They will represent all manner of publications—large and small, domestic and international, printed and electronic—and can sometimes provide a meaningful boost to a new-product launch or a brand’s image. In a recent survey, in fact, 42% of exhibitors told us that they measure success based on media exposure from the Show. If you’re one of those exhibitors, here are some best-practices tips for keeping your media interactions productive and efficient.
Have a Press Kit Ready: One key to managing media inquiries is to prepare product news in advance. Your media kit should consist of high-resolution images of your products along with descriptions, contact information, and a brief company description. (Video clips are appropriate for electronic media.) Most editorial workers these days seem to prefer that this information be supplied on a flash drive. The SEMA Media Center, which will be located in room S219 on the Skybridge of the Las Vegas Convention Center, offers a free place for exhibitors to showcase media kits with easy access for content generators to browse.
In addition to attracting buyers, participation in the New Products Showcase also functions to bring media to your booth—and may result in winning a new-product award.
Enter the New Products Showcase: In addition to serving as a magnet for buyers, the New Products Showcase is an ideal way to attract media attention. Every product is professionally photographed and posted to a searchable, media-accessible webpage, which makes for an easy shortcut to use by writers and editors. Entering a product into the New Products Showcase also opens the door to awards, including the Global Media Awards that are specifically aimed at international media.
Invite Key Media: Scheduling media visits in advance can allow exhibitors to maximize the opportunity to promote while controlling the amount of time devoted to media attention. While it never hurts to provide a bit of hospitality such as a snack, water or a branded trinket, the primary purpose should be to provide the media attendee with a significant, newsworthy opportunity that is relevant to his/her publication, ideally prepared in advance with your press kit on a thumb drive. Consider offering exclusive news to journalists who reach a key audience.
For TORA (formerly LTAA) members, there is a Monday afternoon media event that allows exhibitors to engage media members. These high-quality conversations can be very productive, as they are likely to be less rushed than booth interactions during a busy Show.
Post to the Exhibitor Press Releases Page: Another way to build pre-Show media awareness is to post Show-related announcements to the free media bulletin board at www.SEMAShow.com/press. The board is widely viewed by media attending the show as a way to discover products, events and vehicles that may be right for their publications.
Build Your Media List: Especially if you are new to the industry, collect business cards and contact info from your media visitors for future use. Many writers and content generators move from one publication to another, so it’s best to try to establish personal relationships with as many as possible. Keep notes of your brief conversations, and follow up when you return to your office.
Exhibit Monday Media Day: For members of the Truck & Off-Road Alliance (TORA, formerly the Light Truck Accessories Alliance), there is a Monday afternoon media event that allows exhibitors to engage media members. These high-quality conversations can be very productive, as they are likely to be less rushed than booth interactions during a busy Show. Interested exhibitors should contact TORA select committee members for details (visit www.sema.org/tora).