In any industry, trade shows are an important part of networking with potential clients, customers, influencers and media.
Because the biggest industry trade shows only happen once a year, it is important to make the most of these opportunities to get your brand message to the public in a streamlined and efficient manner.
If your marketing department is busy making plans and preparations for your booth and customer meetings, you might need to outsource your PR and media relations work surrounding the show to a PR agency
Create a Media Strategy in Advance
I’ve received calls from prospective clients asking for support surrounding trade shows that are two weeks away. Start planning your PR and marketing efforts early enough that you have time to create press materials and a press list you can use to conduct outreach to relevant media. Many editors visiting the show will be booking their trade show schedules well in advance – not a week or two prior. If you don’t have the time to do all of this properly, start talking to PR professionals about 3-4 months out from the trade show so that they can help you put a plan in place and execute seamlessly.
When you’re at your booth, most media won’t stop and introduce themselves unless they have a current story or assignment and they need the interview. Don’t be shy about introducing yourself, asking them for a business card, and reaching out to them in the future to collaborate. Everyone is overwhelmed at trade shows so even though a reporter might not have time to sit down with you on-site, it is a great opportunity to make a first point of contact for future.
The period after a trade show is just as important as the period prior to a trade show. Send a simple note or connect on LinkedIn with any relevant contacts that you meet at the show. Be diligent so that you don’t let an important media opportunity, business connection, or networking opportunity slip through the cracks!
Thoughts on new and traditional media, current events, life in Chicago and the occasional small Chihuahua photo.