Case Study for IoT World

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Background

Over the last few years, computing has moved from the purview of our computers to the new frontier of the Internet of “things.”  Today, everything from our cars and kitchen appliances to large industrial systems such as the power grid and hospitals, are connected via the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem.  According to Gartner, more than 6.4 billion IoT devices will be used globally this year, with that number expected to hit 20.9 billion by 2020. As the IoT continues to explode, almost every tech-related company is seeking to develop or execute their IoT strategy.

Although this is a relatively nascent market, Karbo Communications has been working in the IoT market for more than two years. Informa, a leading international events company, hired Karbo Communications to manage its PR efforts for the Internet of Things World 2016 conference. While the conference had been successful and growing, hundreds of competing events were gaining traction in the form of attendance and publicity.  Informa was looking to differentiate Internet of Things World by increasing the event’s awareness in the press and amongst key IoT stakeholders, including media partners, exhibitors, sponsors and analysts. Informa hired Karbo Communications because of the agency’s unique and extensive experience in the IoT market, and the team’s pre-existing relationships with the market’s key players.

Objectives

  • Position Internet of Things World 2016 as the world’s largest and most comprehensive IoT event;
  • Increase attendees, exhibitors, sponsors and media partners;
  • Increase press opportunities for exhibitors and sponsors at the conference;
  • Organize a formal press process before and during the conference;
  • Secure press coverage in top tier business, tech and ad trade publications;
  • Track and report successful PR programs.

Execution

Karbo Communications immediately began developing the conference PR plan, organizing an on-site press room and strengthening messaging. The team recommended positioning Internet of Things World 2016 as the largest and most comprehensive IoT event since this was the first year it was going to be co-located with AppsWorld, Connected Cars World and Wearable World. It was the place where reporters could not only see and hear about what was currently happening and being talked about, but what will be newsworthy in the years to come.

The PR program launched with a messaging exercise followed by a kick-off announcement featuring some of the major keynote presentation participants, including executives from BMW, the FBI and Stanford Health Care.  The agency subsequently worked with other top speakers and sponsors such as Lyft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, SAP and John Deere and secured press interviews and quotes ahead of the conference.

On a parallel track, Karbo Communications identified more than 200 key press, analysts and influencers to invite to the conference.  The agency invited and managed RSVPs and press communication, sharing data with exhibitors, speakers and sponsors so they could work with the team to magnify press efforts. The agency also assisted conference staff to secure top reporters and analysts as panel moderators, as well as key industry organizations as media partners. To continue momentum in the press, Karbo Communications continued to develop announcements on event sessions, such as a startup hackathon, a technical symposium, and more.

During the conference Karbo Communications staffed the press room, coordinating interviews with Informa executives as well as top speakers, sponsors and exhibitors. The media specialists also distributed press materials from announcements made on-site and assisted the media with miscellaneous event logistics.

Results

The third annual Internet of Things World was the largest event to date with more than 10,000 industry professionals, 300+ exhibitors and 150+ speakers from around the world participating in thought-provoking conversations about the future of the IoT. The Karbo Communications team executed a highly successful PR program with press coverage hitting before, during and after the event.

The PR team had conversations about the importance of the event with more than 200 reporters and industry analysts. Nearly 100 reporters signed into the press room realizing a conversion rate of approximately 60%, well above the industry standard. Press feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with many saying this year’s conference had been the best event to date. Additionally, nearly 15 companies, including large enterprises such as SAP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, announced new products, services or partnerships at the event, validating the market influence of the conference.

As a result, Internet of Things World was featured in more than 60 news articles, including print and local broadcast media, with more than 120 million total impressions generated. Karbo Communications worked with the Informa team to develop comprehensive coverage reports, including recommendations for Internet of Things World 2017.

A sampling of media that have featured IoT World 2016:

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