Lexar Media and Firefly attend Photokina 2010

Trade shows are always a huge investment for brands with both financial and time implications. Months of organisation are put into announcements, booth building, media relations and entertainment; it’s a stressful time for the PR agency as both the client and the journalist are looking for a high return on investment. For me, this is where excel comes into its own.

The key to successful events is organisation. Everyone needs to be on the same page: there’s very little leeway for tangents or slacking, meaning the team has to be on top of everything, otherwise things can turn into late nights, weekend working and general office downtime – which is never productive or beneficial in the long run. A concise, colour co-ordinated (yes, I’m a girl) spreadsheet with all details in one place, so everyone can update things from a central point is vital, as well as a clear timeline to keep the team on track.

This September, Firefly worked with Lexar Media who attended Photokina, the world’s largest photographic trade show where over 17,000 people walk through the doors. This year there were hundreds of announcements and thousands of tweets, and we were tasked with ensuring that Lexar Media was in on all the action.

The team at Firefly had successfully called, informed and met with no less than 22 one-to-one press briefings during the event, with journalists from Boston to Bournemouth visiting us. After much stress and only one mild panic, the event was upon us. And it turned out to be a huge success. On day one, coverage appeared across Europe and by day five a host of media were excited by our messages – giving nothing but positive feedback. It just goes to show that excessive excel skills and organisation are at the crux of any good event. All that’s needed is colour co-ordination and communication – which meant that everyone could enjoy Cologne.

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