How to make the most of a trade show
Trade shows are not only great opportunities to showcase your business’s products and/or services to key customers; they can also be a fantastic platform to further extend relationships with target media publications. From setting up media briefings to securing speaking opportunities, there is a wealth of potential when it comes to trade shows that can accelerate your PR campaign.
So, how do you get the most out of the trade shows you’re attending and align them with not only your core marketing campaign but also your PR strategy?
Plan your press list
As the famous saying goes, by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail!
If you’re exhibiting at an event, utilise the trade show’s marketing team. They’re usually extremely helpful and a fountain of knowledge with regards to what is happening and, most importantly, the press that will be in attendance. Trade show organisers should be able to provide you with a media list – but if they don’t have one, don’t panic. Do some more organic research to find out if there have been publications that have covered the trade show in the past and utilise your existing relationships to find out who is in attendance.
Once you’ve built a targeted media list, you know exactly where to send any pitches and press releases to, and you can begin securing media briefings.
If there is the chance to do a speaking slot or host a seminar then make the most of it. Speaker sessions, seminars and workshops present a chance for organisations to bring wider thought leadership campaigns to life. And, it’s the perfect opportunity to get journalists to hear straight from your spokesperson, live without taking up more of their time than needed. More exposure means more chance of being featured and the press will often do a ’round up’ article of events, so make sure everyone knows you’re speaking!
Be present in the press room
Once you’ve established the press in attendance you can now begin to look at scheduling media briefings during the event. Ultimately, you need to think about who is going to be available on your stand or if your client will just be attending as a delegate. If you have the CEO or your main spokesperson present, this is the opportune time to get them in front of the target media and start building relationships with key journalists. Most trade shows will have a physical pressroom. If you’ve got great things to say, but you don’t have anyone available at the event they can speak to directly, make sure you leave press releases with the latest news, contact details in the press room/area.
Tweet, tweet, tweet!
Take the time to have a wander around the event and see what else is going on. Trade shows are a great opportunity for live tweeting, especially if it’s on behalf of a client. By using the event hashtags, you can join in with the wider conversation at the event and share insights with your followers from industry speakers and leaders.
Post-event follow up
This is the key to success! Trade shows are often extremely busy and in some industries, they seem to all happen at once. So, as you would with any leads or key customers you’ve met, make sure you check-in with any media contacts you spoke with (even if you didn’t have a media briefing set up).
Once the trade show is over a journalist will have your business fresh in their minds (along with anyone else they’ve met). If you don’t follow up with journalists accordingly, you run the risk of losing momentum and ultimately you could miss out on coverage.
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