2019 marked the 22nd year that Whiteoaks attended Las Vegas’ NAB Show – the ultimate event for media, entertainment and technology professionals – which is longer than some of the new ‘Oaksers have even been alive!

Held in the Las Vegas Convention Center, this year’s NAB played host to over 90,000 attendees where guests could roam the hall floors to explore the ground-breaking innovations fuelling the media and entertainment industry, including 5G, 8K TV and Artificial Intelligence.

As always, we supported our broadcast clients by hosting journalist meetings; with almost 30 briefings booked across three days, these face-to-face sessions gave them the chance to discuss the latest trends and how their own evolving solutions continue to mould and shape the wider media and broadcasting industries.

One of my highlights included the fact that one of our long-standing clients signed a deal on stand at the show, a first for us and them, and being there live in Pacific Time meant we were able to support the drafting of the press release and distribute it all within 12 hours. This kind of ‘on the ground support’ proved invaluable to our client’s marketing team and once again demonstrated that done well, media relations can still play a vital role in generating new business – something my colleague Simon Coughlin recently wrote about in detail.

Between the Whiteoaks team old and new, apart from racking up well over 250,000 air miles over this time travelling to the ‘Sin City’ of Nevada, it has also meant we have since become quite the experts in knowing how to survive a trade show.

So, whether you’re an exhibition veteran or you’re planning your first trip, here’s five handy tips that will ensure you have a successful show – and have fun too:

  1. Comfortable shoes – an absolute must. You‘ll be on your feet for the majority of the day, standing, walking and sometimes even running if you’ve got a briefing booked in a different hall. So be sure you aren’t wearing in a brand-new pair of shoes for the first time and go with something you know you can wear for a few hours.
  2. Water and snacks – you’ll need something to keep you going. Sadly, exhibition show food isn’t usually a great culinary experience – more there for speed and convenience – but if you do find yourself busy around lunch time it’s a good idea to keep a quick snack and some water in your bag to give you some energy along the way.
  3. Journalist details. So, you’ve done all the hard work before you attend the show and booked in meetings with the client and the journalist, but it comes to your agreed time slot and the journalist isn’t to be seen. Don’t panic, give them 5-10 minutes just to make it to you from any previous appointments. Then give them a ring to see if they can still make or try to rearrange for another time during the event.
  4. Take advantage of the free magazines. Many publications will make a special edition version for big industry shows and often give these out for free during the event. Make sure you grab some to show the client that all important coverage secured ahead of the show.
  5. Finally, have fun. Trade shows don’t need to be feared. Embrace the opportunity and if you’re lucky enough to have one in Vegas I would definitely recommended seeing one of the infamous Cirque du Soleil shows, watching the Bellagio fountains or going on the New York New York rollercoaster.

We still won’t be relaxing – even though NAB is officially over, there’s all important follow-up calls and emails with the journalists we liaised with – plus it will soon be time to start thinking about IBC in Amsterdam in September!


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