Cowgirl Candace has covered global events in beauty, business and higher education for some time now.
I’ve met the wiz kids of the world during the annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair — the globe’s largest international pre-college science competition. I’ve pretend-cruised around in the newest boats models of the season during the annual Atlanta Boat Show. I’ve watched the hottest hair colorist and cutters of the planet give live demos during the annual Bronner Bros. International Beauty and World Natural Hair shows.
No matter the story topic, the mission remains the same: Deliver an in-the-moment story that takes readers inside the event, informing them about industry trends relevant to their lifestyles and as if they were there to experience it for themselves.
So for my cub reporters taking your first shot at reporting from global conferences and shows, make sure to check off Cowgirl Candace’s dos and don’ts below in order to give readers awesome insight to event happenings:
Do: Remind readers (in a clever, punchy lead) of what the show is, when it is taking place and why the show is important to know about. The five Ws — and sometimes “how” — to writing.
Don’t: Assume your reader knows the basics about the event and start going straight into the action.
Do: Get real quotes from show experts to bring your content to life and back any claims.
Don’t: Act coy and miss opportunities to give readers an insider scoop from the horse’s mouth about certain ideas, products or services.
Do: Test the products and services that relate to your readership’s interest. Then give readers an honest review about your experience.
Don’t: Pass up moments to trial products while the experts are there to educate you about proper use and other noteworthy details readers should know.
Do: Network and grab as many relevant business cards/fliers as possible to ensure you’ve got the correct spelling for names/information and can follow up with sources about future story ideas.
Don’t: Leave the experience with absolutely nothing. You’re wasting your readers time if you don’t make them aware of new industry developments. Give them something to look forward to in the year(s) ahead.
Do: Coordinate with professional photographers and videographers to give your coverage strong visuals. You want readers to see the action.
Don’t: Write about how amazing products, demos and panel discussions are then fail to show readers what you’re talking about through video, audio or images, especially in today’s social media age.