I think we can all agree that 2016 was actually the worst, and with the end of the hustle and bustle of the holidays in sight, we’re welcoming 2017 with open arms. The flip of that calendar page means budgets will soon be approved (fingers crossed!) and we’re moving out of marketing planning and into logistics and execution. But where to begin!?

As fellow marketers, we’re here to make your to-do list a little less overwhelming, at least when it comes to creating a bomb.com product display for your 2017 media event. Hey, what can I say…not all heroes wear capes.

We took a look at our June 2016 Holiday Gift Guide event exhibitors and put together our top tips for creating a table display that stands out. Here are our media event tabletop must-haves:

A media sign-in sheet – Beyond just collecting business cards, having a media sign-in sheet will help you keep contact with those key reporters and editors, solidify relationships, and maximize coverage following the event.

Highlight practical usage – Are you displaying a blender? Demonstrate its power! Showing a bag? Actually pack it with day-to-day items so reporters can see how it feels on their shoulder. Painting the full picture for media will make them feel better about recommending products to their readers, because they’ve used them IRL.

Unique displays that speak for themselves – At Press Previews, we’re all about the one-on-one conversation, but you need something to entice reporters to come to your tables and get the gist of your products at a glance. Think of your display as a conversation piece.

Keep it simple – You only have one shot to make a great impression with the media, so be strategic about which products you’re bringing. You don’t want to overwhelm them so they walk away from your table unclear of your message and which products to include in their gift guides.

Take advantage of vertical space – Space is precious. Even though Press Previews won’t be super crowded like other events, we like our small, intimate environment. To stand out and be eye-catching from across the room, don’t forget that height can work in your favor. Pop up banners and backdrops can easily set you apart.

Electronic press kits – Paper press kits and handouts are a thing of the past, and media will have enough to carry with them. Give them a branded USB loaded with goodies like product images, fact sheets, founder bios, etc., and they’ll have everything they need to write a fantastic article about your products. Plus they’ll think of you every time they use it in the future, and you save a few trees in the process.

Thoughtful takeaways – You just had an awesome conversation with a reporter and are feeling great about potentially being included in their gift guide. To extend your impression beyond the event, a thoughtful, unique takeaway like these branded bags from our 2016 Holiday event exhibitor La Brea Bakery can do the trick. Choose something practical they’ll use every day, not just a tchotchke that will get tossed on their way out the door.

We hope you’re feeling inspired so you can roll into 2017 feeling confident and ready, and now you have one less excuse not to sign up for our February 2017 Spring Into Summer Event. You can do that here.

If you’ve been an exhibitor with us in the past or attended other media events, what tips do you have to make your table displays stand out from the rest? Let us know in the comment section below.