Case-study -

Trade show and professional conference public relations, social media marketing and onsite press management

Client: International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market / Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc.

Objectives: Publicize the International Casual Furniture & Accessories Market (Casual Market) as the world’s top casual furniture and accessories industry trade show for retailers, buyers, designers, and landscape architects to view and learn about innovative outdoor furniture, fire pits / fireplaces, hardscape products, and related design as well as new and evolving industry trends. Another important objective for Eberly & Collard Public Relations was to augment attendance categories, growing the type and quality of attendance for the trade show floor, conference, symposium, and the daily events schedule. This endeavor also involved inviting and persuading a wide range of both expected and unexpected editors, reporters and radio / television producers to not only attend- but also to participate, sponsor and cover the entire event. Also, the firm was needed to manage the Casual Market’s onsite press room and host all attending media members from around the globe as well as to organize media relations with exhibitors and showrooms by way of coordinating interviews with trade and consumer magazine editors and MMPI leaders.

Strategy / Program Plan / Accomplishments:

  • Press releases - Show announcements, showroom, exhibitor profiles, MMPI interviews, photo spreads, etc.
  • Byline articles - Product trends / product release, key topic article, and event news submissions to trade and mainstream media.
  • Syndicated article content - Inclusion of exhibitors / showrooms and speakers for additional consumer publicity, featuring more articles and media coverage for the event, show participants and speakers than any year prior in the event's history. 
  • Consumer Media Panel - Conceptualizing, developing, managing, hosting, and moderating a national panel of premiere magazine editors during the event to provide attendees magazine / media insights from ECPR co-owner / present and panel moderator Don Eberly as well as five editors to include Traditional Home, Veranda, Coastal Living, Garden Design, Better Homes & Gardens. 
  • Select other special media coverage, participants and / or sponsors involved - Landscape Architecture, Azure, Construction Specifier, Builder, Remodeler, Architectural Products, Floor and Tile Trends, Outdoor Design, Home Furnishing News, Design Today, Luxe Interiors, and Design & Architecture Trends magazines. A sampling of 150 others included Washington Post, Chicago Sun, San Diego Union-Tribune, Florida Times, Dallas Morning News, New York Times, European Daily, Herald de Paris, London Evening Standard news outlets.
  • HGTV celebrity acquisition - Securing John Giddings, HGTV celebrity and television host, to serve as keynote speaker to attract new and heightened brand / public cognizance for the event at large.
  • Collateral, directory, catalogs, and branding graphics - Assessing current collateral and branding / event materials to improve upon existing brand content; designing consistent print collateral and digital materials for rebranding and marketing of the event, exibitors, showrooms,  schedule, and to communicate all pertinent information to all involved and engaged parties.
  • Press invitations / organization - Pre-show press registration / inquiries and management.
  • Onsite press room management - Press kit development and comprehesnive media relations management; assisting editors with pre-, during- and post-event editorial and photo content, articles, interviews, video production, planning, and hosting. 
  • Exhibitor / showroom media relations - Securing and coordinating media interviews with / for MMPI, showroom personnel, temp exhibitors, and trade / consumer editors
  • Social media management - Pre-event and onsite real-time Facebook and Twitter management using and to promote #CasualMarket.

Results Summary: Since retaining ECPR’s event, advertising, social / digital media, and public / media relations services, the Casual Market has increased show awareness and attendance exponentially, as evidenced by strategically executed marketing campaigns consisting of press releases, byline product trend articles, syndicated content, and social media marketing.

By implementing a consortium of press and social media publicity campaigns, ECPR achieved high-levels of print, online and e-newsletter media coverage on behalf of the Casual Market / MMPI, based on meticulously calculated circulation numbers and impressions. 

Eberly & Collard Public Relations accomlished for the client increased levels and quantities of media coverage, media sponsors, editor speaker / panel participation, event management interviews, publicity mentions, on-topic articles, press release placements, diversified attendance, and testimonials as compared to the event's previous seven annual events. 

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