How to get the best media engagement out of trade shows?

Trade shows are an invaluable way of generating new business, and they have kept their appeal even as businesses move more of their marketing operations online. A trade show is the ideal setting for unveiling a new product or service, and for finding new partners and customers. The prospecting impact is significant, and by engaging in the right event, your team can achieve in days what might otherwise take months.

Trade shows also bring a world of PR opportunities, available to just any company, whether large or small, new or well-established. In fact, media outlets will often have their own booth, with magazines on display, and dozens of journalists and editors will be covering the show. If you play your cards right and manage to get your attendance covered by the press, a trade fair is a fantastic launch pad. On the condition that you have planned a strong communication strategy.

Based on our experience, we have come up with 6 tips to help you get the most out of every event you attend.

  1. Find out which media outlets will be covering the show

Once you’ve decided to exhibit at a show, it might be a good idea to look for official media partners on the event’s website, or to check the exhibitor lists for stands booked by media outlets and the press.

  1. Contact the press

Once you’ve identified media targets, contact editors and journalists ahead of the show and send them information about your company. If there is an announcement coming closer to the show, make sure to share any official press releases with them.

  1. Invite journalists to your booth

Make sure your booth has “newsworthy” written all over it and invite media professionals to cover your trade show exhibit. Most editors will be happy to confirm a time and date with you. If they can’t commit to a specific time slot, let them know they can stop by any time.

  1. Be ready to deal with the press

Trade editors especially value engaging with presidents and other C-level types as well as technical experts. Make sure to have the right spokesperson at hand for when the press turns up. Be ready to provide unique, newsworthy story ideas and high-quality content.

  1. Submit follow-up material

Do ask if you can submit a technical, tutorial or opinion article or other follow-up material at a later time. Most editors will appreciate your proactivity.

  1. Follow up with journalists and editors after the show.

After the show is over, write a personalised follow-up email to every media contact you’ve spoken to and thank them for taking the time to stop by. Keep an eye out for your story to be published, for example by setting up monitoring alerts, and amplifying coverage via your own social media channels as appropriate.

Trade shows can be a great way to connect with many industry journalists under one roof. Make the most of those engagements: your communication strategy will be rewarded in the long run.

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