In August 2019, Curley & Pynn was chosen through an RFP process to manage media relations for IAAPA Expo 2019, specifically focusing on consumer outlets. The IAAPA communications team’s long-term goal for the event is to build national media relationships that position the Expo as the “event of the year” for the global attractions industry. IAAPA clearly stated one primary objective: generate more than 10 million positive consumer media impressions before, during and immediately after the Expo through Orlando, regional and national outlets, including multiday coverage from local broadcast, radio and print media.
With IAAPA creating most event news releases, we focused on building local, regional and national media lists and developing targeted pitch materials backed by aggressive outreach and follow up. Our strategies revolved around connecting unique elements of the Expo and its exhibitors to individual outlet subject areas and reporter beats. Research into 2019 Expo exhibitors, educational programming and press conferences revealed clear story angles for the media pitch strategy, as technology and food exhibits stood out as drivers of media interest.
Because exhibits take shape on the trade show floor in the hours and days before doors open, our team was first able to tour the show the day prior to opening (Nov. 17, 2019), scouting exhibits and press conference locations that would provide strong visuals, as well as feature Florida companies to garner interest from local outlets. Two team members staffed the press office throughout the week, with additional support for the Expo’s busiest days. Each broadcast reporter was provided a suggested shot list prior to their visit and was accompanied by a team member while on-site.
Throughout the week, we worked with IAAPA to share top Expo news announcements to further interest and coverage. After the Expo, we worked with IAAPA on an end-of-week news release and sent recap emails, photography and b-roll to outlets unable to attend. We then developed recommendations to guide planning for IAAPA Expo 2020.
By Dec. 19, 2019, the Curley & Pynn team secured more than 1 billion consumer media impressions, surpassing the primary objective by 10,000% and supporting IAAPA’s goal of positioning the Expo as the industry event of the year. As a continuation of the positive partnership built, we were asked to support IAAPA on an ongoing basis through news monitoring and strategic communication counsel, as well as managing consumer media relations for IAAPA Expo 2020.