Five Tips to Help Ensure Media Attention at Trade Shows
For many brands, trade shows can be a fundamental platform for showcasing products or launching a new line to the trade and consumers. Even in today’s digital age, trade shows are still a viable stage for face-to-face contact between journalists and the brands they write about. So, it’s crucial to make these media connections to help ensure media attendance at events, and to pique their interest in your products so they’ll be featured in future editorials.
Below, we’ve outlined some simple, but often overlooked, tips to help brands garner the attention of key media.
Mark Your Calendar: You are one of many brands vying for journalists’ time during trade shows, so it’s essential to schedule times for booth visits and interviews. It’s good to start making a list of key media who will be attending your show six weeks out so a month before you can begin outreach. If a journalist is unresponsive (rare, we know!), contact the outlet’s advertising sales representative as they’re often tasked with managing trade show editorial appointments.
Use All Available Resources: Show producers recognize the value of media so they often have their own public relations agency handling their publicity efforts. They want media coverage as much as you do, so many times, shows’ PR reps plan media tours or interviews. Contact these reps early to see what they have planned and how you can participate. And never be afraid to ask for their media RSVP list!
Perfect the Press Kit: Journalists value press kits—it’s a straightforward and effective way to provide them with all the background information on a brand or product, so make sure to have plenty on hand at the booth, as well as in the show’s pressroom. All press kits should include a press release (with your booth number on any announcement), a company backgrounder, executive bios, hi-resolution images (usually of your product and/or team), and, of course, public relations contact information. Remember that journalists are bombarded with gifts, packets, and other trade show swag from exhibitors, so they will appreciate it if your press kit is on a CD or USB—plus it’s cost-efficient and eco-friendly.
Survey the Competition: Between your media interviews, take a walk around the show floor and check out your competitors. See their booth designs, what media, if any, are visiting, and pick up some press kits. How interesting is your brand position, your product line, and your overall presence in relation to your competitors? Journalists will be looking at this too.
Put Your Best Foot Forward: Your marketing presence is important. Booth design, contests, and interesting private events all contribute to the lure of your brand. Media is most likely visiting the same booths as those that attendees find attractive, so you’ll want to make sure you’re available and presenting your brand in the best way possible.