Writing up a client’s work at an international event
I am sitting in the back of a golf buggy interviewing a client with a Dictaphone when a French Rafale fighter jet roars past, just a few hundred feet above our heads. The sound is deafening. How did I get here?
Four months earlier, one of our clients – RTH Group, an exhibition display design, build and project management agency – got in touch and asked if we would like to undertake a special project: visit the Paris Airshow to see first hand all the exciting projects they were delivering for their clients. Then write up a series of articles to communicate their experience, professionalism, attention to detail, and that wow factor that they create.
We didn’t need a second invitation. We regularly write up events for clients, but nothing on this scale before.
Getting the preparation right before the trip
We agreed how it would all work and completed the preparations with two extensive briefing meetings. The purpose of the content is to support new business development by showcasing their work, and share expertise with clients. So in these meetings the team at RTH explained their inspiration behind their creativity, the challenges they faced and ways in which they go the extra mile.
We defined the outputs which included a lead article about RTH’s 30 years’ experience at the Paris Air Show and how their clients benefited from this. This was to be complemented by ten shorter articles that would focus on specific aspects of their service like technology, sustainability and on-site project management. In addition, On Point would design a short interview to gather testimonials, generate a bank of further content ideas and write one or two client case studies.
When so much is being invested in a project like this, it is important to get the preparation work right, so as much value as possible can be achieved. I certainly felt all set and ready to go.
Out in Paris
I was out there for three days and as soon as I arrived, we embarked upon a site tour. The air show grounds at Le Bourget are huge, running along two sides of a runway from which the participants in the aerial display would take off.
We inspected RTH’s projects one by one while they described operational aspects of their work. These descriptions dovetailed perfectly with the design-led information that had been shared in the briefing. On Point has professional voice recording equipment and this was the perfect way to document the information as we were constantly on the move – except when a fighter jet zooms past. But that just added to the fun!
On the second day I walked around the site at my own pace. I’d call in on the various chalets, stands and pavilions and take the time to notice the luxury finishes, cutting-edge tech and wonderful displays. Each building had office space of some description and I was able to write drafts on site while they were most fresh. It also helped to control the costs of the project by maximising the use of my time out there for the client, so less time would be required post-event to write.
Day three was the opening show day, and it was all about seeing how the exhibition was used and enjoyed by the exhibitors and their guests. With some first drafts already sketched out, we could overlay some splashes of detail to really bring those articles to life.
There was time to take in the show myself, and what a show it was, with Apache helicopters performing manoeuvres, commercial airliners doing steep climbs and smaller jets looping, rolling and whatnot. Not to mention all the ground-based displays. There is nothing like experiencing something first hand to create powerful evocative and persuasive writing.
Delivering the writing
Then it was back to the UK. We began to turn around the writing quickly so the client could use the content whilst it was most relevant. Two of the smaller articles were provided on days one and two of the show so they could be shared on social whilst they were still live. This helped drive footfall to the relevant stands and worked as a new business tool while the RTH sales team were prospecting out there.
The lead article came next which could be used as a showcase and reflection on RTH’s work after the show, and the remaining articles followed to an agreed schedule. This provided RTH with fresh, genuine content for months to come which they could use on their website, social media channels, email newsletters and to support future tender documents.
Testimonial from Katy Evans, Associate Director:
“Delivering so many diverse projects for our clients at the Paris Air Show, we believed it would be a great opportunity to create a series of content to showcase our work. We’d worked with On Point Copywriting several times before and were confident they’d be able to deliver what we required.
“Huw shadowed our team out in Paris, interviewing project managers and seeing our service delivery first hand. We received our first article on the opening day of the show and the second one on day two. This meant we could publish content in real time during the show and share it on social media while many prospects were still on site.
“We noticed a spike in traffic on our website after the content from On Point went live. Now we have a content plan which will support our marketing and business development for many months to come.
I’d recommend On Point Copywriting to companies running or involved in events, who want to generate engaging content which tells their story and showcases their products or services.”