It’s been just over a year since I started working at AD and the majority of my time has been spent preparing for FESPA 2013, which took place last week.
FESPA is the biggest international wide format print event on the calendar in the graphic arts industry and this year was hosted in London (I was one year late to travel to Barcelona). It’s safe to say that just like PR and communications in general, working on an exhibition brings variety to my role.
The run up to FESPA was fun and also a lot of hard work; there were multiple aspects to the exhibition that I didn’t take into consideration when I first started working on the account. And as this was my first international event, I was excited to see the final result and to observe everything we’ve worked on and written about come to life.
Working on an exhibition account brings with it a hugely diverse number of jobs to complete, such as liaising with exhibitors and the media, drafting features and press releases. It also helped me develop new relationships and reach out to other sectors such as design, marketing and interiors in order to target new and specific audiences to attract to the show; this in itself helped my own knowledge of these industries develop as well as honing my media relations skills.
Social media has also played a big part in the run up to FESPA 2013 and most definitely the biggest part in a FESPA event yet. As owners of the FESPA PR twitter account (@fespa_PR) we were constantly pushing out news and show information through this social media channel. During the show itself we also tweeted about events that were happening as well as pushing out news and information. We worked closely with the FESPA exhibition team to provide them with relevant content to help them populate their own social media channels such as twitter, facebook and youtube.
As an agency, we were also supporting a number of clients at FESPA so the office has been running on adrenaline the past few weeks. Working on FESPA itself as well as other clients who were exhibiting definitely showed me the whole picture both from the exhibition organiser’s aspect and also the exhibitor angle, and just how joined up communications needs to be.
For one of my clients we constructed an integrated campaign with the ‘fly FESPA’ theme and created content for a customer magazine (Inflight magazine) for their stand. Other clients were supported through integrated marketing as well as editorially to tell the FESPA story through a mix of communications channels.
During the event I was manning the press office and meeting the media, it was so nice putting faces to names of journalists that I’d been liaising with. I also got a few opportunities to wander round the exhibition, see the stands and enjoy the ‘fly FESPA’ theme and experience. Speaking with exhibitors on my rounds helped develop my knowledge of wide format and new market trends.
Now, a few days later and back in the office my feet have almost recovered, (I’d like to know how many miles I walked in total during the show). It’s great looking back at how the exhibition went and to see how all the hard work paid off. I have to say that as my first major event I thoroughly enjoyed it. Bring on FESPA Digital 2014 in Munich!!