MINNEAPOLIS AND SANTA CLARA—McGrath/Power Public Relations and Padilla Speer Beardsley have developed a new specialized service aimed at helping major events attract and maintain the right exhibitors, attendees and media. Called ShowGun, the service will initially target industry trade shows and conferences, as well as company-sponsored events such as user group and developer meetings.
By leveraging the relationship between aggressive communications, strong event content, and development of community, ShowGun has developed unique methodologies enabling customers to build sustainable events that receive highly visible media and industry coverage and ensure key audiences look forward to returning year after year.
According to McGrath Power client services director Tamara Burnett, “In today’s economy, a general decline in corporate spending and travel, fewer staff with little time to leave the office to exhibit or attend, and the overall opinion that most big shows ‘jumped the shark’ years ago has prompted exhibit managers to re-focus how they market and manage events.”
The two agencies built ShowGun after several successful projects executed both jointly and independently. For the past three years, the two agencies have collaborated on the RSA Conference, the world’s leading information security event. In addition, each agency has managed communications for other leading events, including Allen-Bradley Automation Fair and Retek. Both are partners in the Worldcom Public Relations Group, a network of independent public relations agencies.
Jon Bloom, CEO of McGrath/Power and Matt Kucharski, senior vice president of Padilla Speer Beardsley, are heading up the new venture.
According to Kucharski, “Trade shows traditionally market themselves through including advertising, direct mailers and today with online mailings. However, with all the competitive noise and the increase in the number of trade shows, potential exhibitors, attendees and media are having a hard time identifying one event’s value over similar shows. But organizations are neglecting the importance of face-to-face communications. Even the top shows are missing out on quality exhibitors, valuable attendees and beneficial media coverage.”
Adds Bloom, “By working directly with the organizers and seeing things through their eyes, by having been on the media side in past lives and understanding their needs, by having been actual exhibitors (via clients) at other shows, we have a 360-degree view on what is required for both relationship building activity and diverse needs.”