The International Housewares Association sponsors three press events a year in New York for Show Exhibitors and IHA members. The most recent event, Hot Housewares for the Holidays, was held June 10 at the Hilton New York and included 44 IHA-member companies showcasing their new products for the 4th-quarter gift-giving season. Here are reflections of the event from two participating companies.
A Day at the “Hot Housewares for the Holidays” Press Event
By Marie Cacciato, JB Cumberland PR – agency for BODUM
The opportunity for face-to-face time with the influential media is key when launching a new product or strengthening existing relationships with the media. When the time for this year’s “Hot Housewares for the Holidays” event at the Hilton New York came up, we immediately knew we would take advantage of it by showcasing the newest Bodum products that would make exceptional holiday gifts – a hot new handheld blender, electric water kettles, French Press coffee makers in gold and attractive storage jars with color accents, all part of the 2010 Bodum collection, first unveiled at the Housewares Show in March.
June 10, the morning of the event, everything ran very smoothly, as is expected of an IHA event. Our packages were waiting for us by our table when we arrived, so we immediately started setting up, enjoying conversations with some of our fellow housewares friends while carefully unpacking product samples. The atmosphere was filled with excitement as everyone anticipated the media’s reaction to their new wares.
Once our products were in place and the display table was in tip top shape, we gravitated to the Hilton ballroom where lunch was being served – the spread, a lovely selection of hot and cold dishes, salads, fruit and pastries, definitely hit the spot. After quickly finishing up, we headed back, just in time to meet our media friends.
Like clockwork, magazine editors, freelance journalists and the trade press started making their rounds. From table to table, they checked out what’s new and started collecting ideas for their upcoming gift guides. “What will they think?” all exhibitors were certainly wondering. We were excited to hear feedback – talking to the press about fantastic products and really listening to their opinions is a wonderful indicator of how consumers will respond once the products are on the shelves! We were especially eager to share news and updates on the e-bodum collection of kitchen electrics and show the media new color additions to the line.
During the course of the day, we met with influencers from Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful, Food Network Magazine, O, the Oprah Magazine, Every Day With Rachael Ray and SmartMoney, just to name a few. Our products were very well received – it’s always great fun to hear who likes what product best and how they would consider featuring it in their magazine, newspaper or blog. This event definitely helped us open the door to wonderful potential coverage during the holiday season – can’t wait to start seeing the results!
IHA Press Events Are Not to Be Missed
By Carol Luckhardt, Director of Marketing, Casabella Holdings LLC
The best way to get exposure for new products is through various publications, whether they be magazines, newspapers, blogs, TV or trade journals. Having our products displayed at the IHA Media Previews has given me the opportunity to talk to editors on a one-to-one basis. And this personal contact is a viable part of getting publicity.
I have been attending the IHA Media Previews since they began and I can’t emphasize enough how important this has been in being able to develop relationships with several editors. Consumers (and buyers are included in that group) respond to items that have been sourced and recommended in an editorial. The IHA Media Previews allow you to demonstrate and answer questions about your products. An email that is sent after the event lists all of the editors that were there and also those who weren’t able to attend. This list provides you with all of the contact information.
We have had excellent results with editorials in Good Housekeeping, Real Simple, Brides, HFN, HomeWorld Business, InStyle, Ladies’ Home Journal, Time, Self, Woman’s Day and Promenade just to mention a few. I highly recommend participating in this IHA event.
See CBS video coverage of the Press Event at http://wcbstv.com/topstories/housewares.international.home.2.1745000.html