Exhibitors commonly use trade show events to bring new products to market and generate leads that turn until sales. While the focus of face-to-face marketing events is often on the end user, brands shouldn’t forget the importance of making meaningful media connections that can provide value well after the show has ended.
Press coverage is a powerful tool, but it doesn’t come easy. With so many competitors vying for the attention of the same pool of reporters, it can be nearly impossible to make headlines without the right strategy. How can you increase your chances of garnering news attention? Read on to find out.
Begin your outreach efforts well before the event
As is the case with almost every aspect of attending a trade show, your success with the media will largely depend on how prepared you are. If you show up to the event and begin searching for interview opportunities on the spot, you’ll likely find that media professional’s calendars are already filled with appointments.
Get a media list of reporters covering the event from the show organizer as soon as possible. If the show doesn’t provide this information, try researching coverage from last year’s show and build your own list of reporters who covered the event. Even if they aren’t attending the show again, they may be able to help point you in the right direction.
Make sure your announcement is newsworthy
As a marketing representative for your company, it’s your job to position your product or service as a game changer. Remember, though, that reporters see a lot of different products and something that may be new to your business could be considered a rerun of a product that already exists.
If your offering is truly unique, it should speak for itself. Just like with marketing, however, your message can fall short if it’s not relevant to its intended audience. As you are crafting your pitch to reporters, do your research to be sure it catches their attention and addresses the publication’s needs. Find ways to align your product with the show’s overarching themes (technology, for example) and always offer an expert who can be interviewed and speak to how the company is disrupting the industry.
Prepare your team members with the proper messaging and tools
Your trade show team bears the responsibility for executing successful media interviews. Make sure your media representatives are trained on key talking points well ahead of the show. Briefing books with details about each reporter (who they are, who they write for, and yes, what they look like) will help minimize the risk of in-person blunders. A pre-prepared presentation is another helpful asset to help keep the meeting on track and serves as a helpful takeaway for the reporter. Consider placing the interview materials on a branded USB to make it easy for the reporter to refer to when they’re back at their desk following the show.
Make it easy to connect
The trade show floor can be chaotic. If you are concerned that your exhibit space is not the ideal location to host media, offer to meet with the reporter off-site. This could be at the cafe within the exhibit hall, at a pre-event breakfast near the convention center or over happy hour after the show. Wherever you go, make sure it is convenient and doesn’t conflict with other important event happenings. As a thank you for the reporter’s time, always pick up the check!
Pick the right partner
These days, it takes more than a formal press release to garner coverage on your product or service. With the right message, the right team, and the right strategy, you’ll be able to build successful media relationships that elevate the results of your event marketing.
At Rockway Exhibits + Events, we work with companies who want to achieve more at their events by developing trade show strategies that drive results. From concept to completion, we’ll help you create an awe-inspiring exhibit space that empowers your team to make meaningful business connections. Want to see how we can help you achieve your event marketing goals? Contact us to get started.