By Beth Jester, Public Relations & Marketing Events Manager
BISSELL Homecare, Inc.
Because BISSELL is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., it can be difficult to reach the shelter, women’s interest and other national media outlets in a meaningful, personal and cost-effective way. We look forward to the International Home + Housewares Show each year because many of these editors and producers gather in Chicago to view the latest and greatest products. This is one of our best opportunities to reach them with company news and products. Throughout the year, however, IHA offers additional opportunities for members to reach the media through its New York-based press events.
The showcases typically take place over a four-hour period in the afternoon at the Hilton New York and always include lunch. They may seem trivial, but these details are important and make it easy for the media to attend. With the event just a short walk or cab ride away, they can squeeze lunch and a hunt for new housewares products into their already packed schedules.
My coworker and I just returned from IHA’s most recent product showcase — Discover Design. As usual, Debbie and her team did not disappoint. We were impressed with the media in attendance, and the time each editor or producer spent learning about our products. (We were also impressed with the quality food, but I could go on about that for the rest of this post!)
Beyond an introduction to these national media outlets, IHA’s product showcases also allow excellent opportunities for networking with industry peers. It can be tricky to navigate the event if your competitors are also in attendance, but there’s great camaraderie among most of the participants. I don’t often have the chance to speak with public relations professionals at other housewares companies, and it’s always intriguing to swap stories, challenges and tips on earning media coverage for our products.
I should also point out that for smaller companies, these product showcases offer a level playing field among those vying for media attention. Each exhibitor receives the same 6-foot space to display their wares, so the products really have to speak for themselves. Whether you’re a large, small or mid-size company, consider taking advantage of this unique benefit that the IHA offers its members.
Here is Beth showing off Bissell’s new hardwood cleaning product at the Discover Design event in October.
The next IHA press event will be the Show Preview on Tuesday, January 18 2011 from noon-4pm at the Hilton New York. You can find more information and registration here. Deadline for entries is Dec. 28 2010 and half the spaces have been sold to date.
If you’d like to participate in or attend the upcoming IHA press event you can also contact Debbie Teschke at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.847.692.0110.