Tips for Trade Show Press Releases
Author: Komal Qaiser
Your company’s presence at a trade show can be a game changer. You can either make or break your brand or, even worse, go completely unnoticed. Big stands, sponsorships and key staff members present will get you noticed but to grab attention from the press, put off important company announcements until an industry event.
Many companies work on deals, product launches and partnerships months before a show begins. However, if you can wait then it is a good idea to coincide the news with a trade show. This way, you can get into the dailies and have your news delivered directly to your target audience.
Announce before the show – Dailies are magazines that different publications publish every day at the show. Find out which publications are being distributed at the show, contact their editors and tell them about your news. When your press release is ready, send it to the members of press with a clearly marked release date (mention the show name and date) and let them know it is under embargo so the news does not get out. Let them know you are open for interviews if they would like to come by your booth to meet with key people and offer you an editorial. Even better, try to get an interview with the relevant person at your company before the show so that it can be published in the dailies.
Hold a press conference – most exhibition halls have limited press rooms so it’s important that you make the booking well in advance. Schedule the press conference a day or two before the first day of the show and send an email out to media personnel.
Have a good media/press kit ready – add company information, product and service information, recent press releases and articles, profiles on members of your management team, your contact details and any other relevant company information you want the media to know about. Remember, members of the press receive press kits all the time so it is important to have a good quality, professional kit if you want to get their attention.
Visit the press room – at the trade exhibition, there will be a press room where key media personnel sit and write up their stories. On the day before the show, pop by the room. Outside the room, you can usually find cubby holes dedicated to each publication. Drop a print out of the press release (preferably on company paper) along with a media kit. If you can, go into the press room and see if you manage to catch one of the journalists to see if they can feature your news!
Look for speaker opportunities – many shows have small networking events and conferences where people from the industry gather for panel discussions or as solo speakers. Contact the show organizers months in advance and see if there are any opportunities available where you think your company would have relevant input.
Try to get an editorial with an industry or big publication – speak to the journalists and see if you can score an interview with key people from your company. Most times, journalists would love to hear from you – provided you have credible information that is relevant to the topic in discussion.
Send out a teaser and mail blast – send out a mail to everyone in your database letting them know you will be at the show and that you have some big news for them! Don’t tell them what the news is but perhaps you can give them a hint to keep it interesting.
Hold a press morning or breakfast at your booth – invite key media personnel to your stand for a coffee morning or breakfast. If you are in charge of the company’s PR and media presence, go around and introduce yourself. Hand them your business card and ask them if they have received your media kit. Tell them what news you have recently released and try to get an interview with someone from your company.
Have an email blast ready to send to your database when the news is announced – when the news is released, send an email out to everyone in the database. Let them know what the news is because not everyone will be at the trade show or have access to the dailies.
Inform your team and booth staff – ensure they all have as much information as possible so that visitors to the booth can have their questions answered – you don’t want your staff to find out about the news at the same time as everyone else because chances are people that have read the news in the dailies will stop by your booth for a chat or have questions for your staff members. Make sure they are all prepared to answer clients and prospects.
Throw a booth party – if it’s really big news and your budget allows, throw a booth party! You can have a themed one or a combined one if you have partnered with someone. There are plenty of possibilities – you just need to figure out what your target market would enjoy.
Use social media – reach out to visitors of the show and other industry contacts and potential clients by broadcasting your news across your social media platforms.
Many exhibitions have a press section on their website where you can see which publications are going to be publishing dailies and also get a list of the media contacts that will be present.