Fighting Back Against “Unofficial” Show Dailies

Show daily distributors wearing t-shirts promoting their publication as official will attract the attention of attendees.
Show daily distributors wearing t-shirts promoting their publication as official will attract the attention of attendees.

The topic of “rogue show dailies” appeared on an industry message board last month – immediately causing this blog’s author to grimace. Whether you refer to them as unofficial, rogue or renegade doesn’t matter – they can negatively impact a conference’s official show daily in many ways.

  • Attendees may be confused as to what publication is actually connected to the conference. With more than one option, they are apt to pick up the first one they receive and pass on other options – which could mean they aren’t reading the official show daily.
  • It may not be clear to exhibitors as to which publication is official when they are receiving calls about advertising from multiple companies in the months leading up to a conference. A few years ago, we had an exhibitor storm into our meeting room asking where his ad was. Turns out he was duped into advertising in an unofficial publication – and was not pleased.
  • Conference organizers do not need another headache-causing problem, especially at 8 a.m.

A few clients have sent cease and desist letters, but we can’t report that it eliminated the problem.

Our first goal: produce a strong show daily with the content attendees seek to read. Unofficial publications may be popular on day one, but as attendees realize the difference between it and a conference’s official publication, readership will dwindle.

Two issues that need to be addressed are:

Sales support: Why are exhibitors advertising in this publication and not the official show daily? Often it’s price and free editorial. Competing on price may be a challenge – but look at offering early bird rates and/or complimentary digital advertising for premium positions. If it’s the free editorial, could this be a value-add offered to your show daily advertisers? Check out the Exhibitor News section from one of our publications – it really does drive ad sales. Another budget-friendly option: include a New Product Showcase section in your show daily. Offer paid listings that include a product photo and 100-word description.

Also, be sure you alert exhibitors as to who the official show daily provider is in the exhibitor kit – clearly state the names of companies that are not affiliated with your organization so they know who to stay clear of.

Have your distribution team greet attendees with the show daily wear branded t-shirts that identify the publication they are distributing as official.
Have your distribution team greet attendees with the show daily wear branded t-shirts that identify the publication they are distributing as official.

Distribution: As long as the publication is out there, it’s a problem. We recommend alerting your security staff, hotel contacts and convention center support about this publication – they should not be allowed to hand out copies on convention center property. Be sure these parties know you have an official show daily, and this is not it.

Often, unofficial publications will be distributed to attendees as they board shuttle buses. Distribute your publication at the hotel boarding stops as well. Be sure the shuttle bus teams know who your official show daily provider is.

We also recommend having t-shirts for your distribution team that promote their publication as official. Make it a color that can stand out – and send out tweets reminding attendees to “pick up the conference show daily from distribution team members wearing red shirts.”

We can help!

Whether your show daily’s being impacted by an unofficial publication, or you want to launch an official show daily to lessen the impact of other publications, CustomNEWS can help. Contact us today, info@showdailies.com!

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