Maximize Your Trade Show Investment With Effective PR

With the upcoming trade show season approaching, businesses need to focus heavily on PR to increase traffic at their booth.  The main objective of exhibiting at a show is to generate qualified leads and build brand awareness.  PR can accomplish this through delivering a targeted message to show attendees prior to the actual conference.  It sets the stage prior to show time!

Plus , new PR technology has changed the face of tradeshows.  Companies can utilize PR Newswire’s suite of multimedia production and distribution tools to help their trade show managers tell their story from every angle to audiences all over the world. 

What can we do as marketers to tell our story pre-show, during the show, and post-show?

Pre-Show PR

The goal prior to the show is for companies to create a “buzz” in the industry and gain interest of potential attendees.   There are a few ways to accomplish this….

  1.  Write a press release announcing the launch of a new product at the show.  Entice your audience by using the words “sneak peak” or “special demo” only at the show.  This will create a sense of urgency for attendees to come to your booth.
  2. Invite attendees to attend a presentation at your booth.  PR Newswire is a great way to invite prospects to your presentation.
  3. Send press to the media prior to the show – The goal here is to get a spotlight article in the show guide.
  4. In addition to PR, a good marketer will send out a direct mailer or email campaign prior to the show inviting prospects to the booth for a special offer.

A word of advice……don’t use a raffle at your booth or a sexy model to draw booth traffic.  You end up with “Noise” and unqualified prospects.  You want qualified prospects…not people who only want to win the raffle prize or date the model!

During the Show PR

Make sure you have plenty of press kits at the show!   A USB can be a great way to keep all pertinent documents together. Keep it simple for the media and distribute your press kits on a USB with your logo on it.  Press kits should include:

  • All pertinent press releases
  • Company Brochure
  • Company Fact Sheet
  • Company Logo
  • Company Contacts

Media events are another great way to keep your company name in the spotlight during the show.  Hold a media event in a hospitality suite and introduce new products to the media.

Post Show PR

Once the show is over….a marketer’s job has just begun!  It’s all about follow-up….All leads generated at the booth should be sent a thank you letter along with a brochure.  In addition, a phone call should be made by the sales team to better qualify the lead.  Also, companies should track the number of articles that were written by editors after the show.  You can follow-up directly with the editors or do a google search to see if any new articles appear.  It’s a great way to track the ROI  after the show.

Remember……trade show press should be used by more companies to maximize their trade show investment.  Trade shows are a large expense…..but Press is Free…..so use it before you lose it!

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About Monique Merhige

Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.

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