Trade shows are an increasingly important part of any marketing strategy. They’re an opportunity to directly speak with potential partners, customers and, most importantly, trade media. In order to get a full ROI on your trade show trip, there are a few things you need to do – first and foremost, implement a media relations program to help coordinate outreach, on-site interviews, and press inquiries.
Once the program is in place, it’s time to discuss strategy. Here are a few tips to get the most media to your trade show booth.
Public relations is a cutthroat landscape. Reporters can register for events months or even a year in advance, and exhibitors can gain access to the media lists way ahead as well. This means that reporters can begin receiving pitches and booth invitations before you’ve even bought your space.
The sweet spot for media outreach is different for every event – but when in doubt, always start earlier. Schedules fill up fast, and you don’t want to miss opportunities simply because you waited too long. Having a trade show schedule built out a year in advance is very helpful.
The art of the follow up is almost lost in the modern day, but as any reporter (and most office workers) will tell you, inboxes are a nightmare. Messages get pushed to the side for later or just lost entirely. That’s why it’s important to send follow ups to your target reporters in the weeks leading up to the event. But be careful – no need to be too persistent, you don’t want your brand associated with that kind of behavior.
Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse
Anyone can offer to have an interview at their booth – make sure to have something unique to offer the media if they come to your booth. Something simple like having products to demo, but don’t be afraid to go with some outside-the-box ideas. It’s easy for a reporter or analyst to say no to a simple briefing, but by making your booth the go-to destination, it’s their loss if they choose to not stop by.
The best way to get the most of your trade show efforts is to hire an agency with experience supporting trade shows both on- and off-site, and one with the media savvy to lock down as many interview opportunities as possible.