Alissa Kiktavy | June 20, 2023
What’s the best way to get media attention for your business at trade shows or conferences? The short answer is: Make your focus about (helping) them.
Each trade show brings a lengthy checklist and high level of expectations from you or your client. From generating booth traffic, increasing brand awareness and number of quality leads, to generating new product buzz and enhancing social engagement, the list of asks (and stress level) can seem unnerving. But don’t forget about obtaining media coverage. Trade shows present a great opportunity to create relationships.
How do you stand out from your competition and get press coverage? And how do you successfully fill up your client’s trade-show schedule?
The competition is fierce on the trade show floor. From improved, larger booths to the A-list celebrity draw, simply navigating the crowded floor isn’t your only area for concern. Come up with a list of target media for engagement that are must-have’s and nice to-have’s. Be sure to set goals that are achievable and define KPI’s that evaluate (and ensure) success.
Get to know the other team members who are attending the show so you get a feel for their personalities and interests, and who would be best to interact with the media or share insight on consumers’ questions. From there, divide roles and responsibilities. Provide the team members with the press materials well in advance so messaging stays on point.
Before reaching out to invite that top-tier media contact to the booth, do your homework. Research his or her latest articles, blogs, and social posts. Try to find a personal connection to break the ice (if you don’t already have an established relationship). Luckily, we live in the fabulous age of technology – to help in setting reminders for birthdays, work anniversaries, etc. – use it.
Once you have that initial conversation, fostering relationships and making personal connections is essential. Emotional connections matter more than the products (shhh, don’t tell your client) debuting in the trade show booth – How can I help you. What do you think?
And, if you’re underestimating the power of face-to-face meetings, don’t. Millennials (media) value experiences and connections. Utilize your meeting time to make it both impactful and memorable.
Know how your media contact prefers to receive their news and tailor your approach accordingly. Make sure to be relevant before sending that email or posting. Knowing what the media considers newsworthy is often very different from what your client views as newsworthy.
What else can you do to make the media’s lives easier? Schedules usually are jam-packed at trade shows with editors running behind schedule. Be one step ahead – offer to walk across the exhibit hall and meet for coffee closest to their next appointment. Or, set a reservation for dinner or drinks outside of the show. You might get more accomplished outside of the trade show setting.
Don’t let your relationship fall by the wayside until the same trade show next year. Be a good communicator and continue to keep in touch (I know, sounds cliché) with contacts. The extra thought and effort does go a long way as personal touches are often lost in today’s digital age.
And, it’s never too early to start planning for the next trade show. Schedule a team debrief to critically evaluate your team’s performance and take note of suggestions. The trade show is constantly evolving. Make sure your team does, too, to make the experience a success not only for you, but also your clients.
Ready to refine your PR and tradeshow game? Contact Falls & Co. and let’s explore the possibilities.
More Related Content:
Your Public Relations Strategy Questions Answered
How to Best Work with an Agency
Set Goals to Measure a PR Program