Trade shows are a gold mine for story leads that sustain a journalist’s editorial calendar for months. Participating in a trade show is a ticket to extensive broadcast and print coverage for the exhibitor that knows how to work it. Here are a few tips for turning your next trade show into a publicity bonanza.
Trade shows are a gold mine for story leads that sustain a
journalist’s editorial calendar for months. Participating in a trade
show is a ticket to extensive broadcast and print coverage for the
exhibitor that knows how to work it. Here are a few tips for turning
your next trade show into a publicity bonanza.
It’s essential to get the word out to the media weeks before the event -
you can’t rely on serendipity to place roving reporters at your
Start sending press releases early and spacing them out evenly in the
days that follow. You should also schedule on-site interviews or product
demonstrations in advance as well.
Be sure you can offer something of real ’news’ value. Target media
outlets carefully; know the focus of the publication or program and the
interests of the specific writer/producer before you call. Don’t
overlook the increasing number of Web-based publications.
In the interview, the media will want to know more than a general
overview of your plans for the next year - they’ll be interested in your
new product plans as early as possible, often before you’re ready to
issue an official press release. And they’ll want to know why it’s
important for your market.
If possible, have beta users willing to talk about their experience with
the product, or an analyst already familiar with it.
To a journalist, you have more to offer than a product. Your insight of
the market, or inside scoop on your competitors, may attract even more
interest. Reporters appreciate this sort of help and may return the
favor another time.
If you have a lot to say to lots of people, consider a press
But first ask yourself if you really need one. Alternatives include
inviting reporters to your booth for a product test or a chat with a
Build a booth and they will come, but they won’t stick around if it’s
not worth their time. For those journalists you can’t contact before the
show, make sure your booth is valuable for those roaming the floor in
search of a story. Prepare your personnel and ensure that technically
knowledgeable staff members and a representative spokesperson are
Media kits are your greatest ammunition for standing out from your
Remember to have plenty of extra kits on hand filled with recent press
releases, background material, the company profile, your booth number
and location at the show as well as a list of contact names (including
phone numbers and titles). Never put kits in envelopes either - they’ll
just end up in the trash.
Knowing how to present yourself properly at a trade show can help ensure
you get a proper date in the editorial calendar.
Sue Lonergan is vice president of ZD Events, producer of COMDEX/Fall