Trade Show Strategy for Maximum Exposure


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Trade shows are great opportunities to leverage in order to increase your brand's visibility. Seminars, speaking engagements, sponsorships and exhibit halls are only a few avenues at these events that can maximize exposure to your brand. The key to trade show success is creating a strategy to streamline objectives, take action and get noticed.

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  • Trade shows are more than just an opportunity to learn about your industry’s progression. It provides your company with numerous opportunities for maximized exposure and increased visibility among industry peers and key media. In fact, there are several trends surrounding how trade shows are used as a main tactic for creating marketing and PR opportunities. Emphasis on social media activities before, during and after a trade show, for instance, has greatly increased as these channels continue to offer more opportunities for users. Also, large booths with interactive technology is also a priority for maximizing time and resources at trade shows.
  • Trade shows and industry conferences are a huge opportunity to meet in-person with various media contacts, especially key publications in your industry. To optimize this opportunity, understand how media operate and build a strategy around that. Publications will often send two different types of media representatives tocover trade shows – reporters or editors and sales reps. If you are looking to broaden your marketing channels, work on speaking to the sales reps. However in order to get ideal representation in and attention from the outlet, work on building relationships with the editorial contacts. Reporters and editors are responsible for covering industry news. These are the contacts that will determine how important your company is to the industry and whether it receives any publicity in relation to the event. Learn about their areas of coverage beforehand so you can be on target with their interests in a conversation. Most importantly, they are an opportunity to gauge the current state of the industry and future trends. If you secure a meeting with them, use it to illustrate how your company is growing along with the industry and bringing new things to the table.
  • Generating news to interest editors can come from a variety of sources beyond just new products. Look internally – has there been any personnel changes or restructuring? Also, has there been a major shift in business objectives or target markets? Do you have research that illustrates a significant trend for your industry?News can take many forms and matching it to the interests of media is important! Especially at a trade show, consider news that relates to the event’s major theme or topic.
  • -When planning on attendance to a trade show, discuss your goals for marketing and media relations at the event with your PR agency or communications team. Ideally, this should take place 3 months ahead of time. -Develop a publicity plan – work with your PR teamto realistically rate your company’s news value versus overall industry needs. Your agency will develop strategies and recommend tactics for accomplishing those goals.-Communicate the plan to the marketing and sales teams prior to the show so everyone understands what the main objectives are. Also, designate company spokespeople who will be available to speak with the press and guide them on messaging. Provide appropriate materials needed to prepare for press inquiries. 
  • There are a number of ways to network with press during a trade show. A press conference is one of the most common tactics. It focuses attention on your and your company’s news and gives you the control on what information they receive. A similar objective can be achieved with one-on-one appointments or direct interviews with designated spokespeople. Also, meeting with media outside of the trade show allows for relaxed conversation. Also, schedule face time or one-on-one appointments with media contacts prior to the show. Or, look for opportunities to secure speaking engagements, either as a keynote speaker or as a participant in a panel discussion. It again places you in front of your target audience and emphasizes you as a knowledgeable resource to media.Choose your tactic based on the news you have to communicate and the overall objectives for the trade show.
  • Press kits are great assets for a company to have for media relations. This package of information provides press contacts with background information and significant news you feel they need to know in order to understand what your company is all about. In other words, be selective – less is more. Focus on what you want to highlight and include such things as a pitch letter, recent press releases and articles, case studies if a service-based company, frequently asked questions and company history, facts and important figures.The goal is to grab the reader’s attention while educating them about your business. Consider how your media contacts like to communicate and choose the appropriate format for their style. If they communicate via email, digital press kits may be best so it can be shared via a CD, flash drive or email. If not, then perhaps traditional hardcopies are preferred. No matter which form it takes, also make sure to follow through and deliver the information. If using hardcopies, bring am ample supply to the show.
  • Trade shows offer several opportunities to garner media coverage. Before the show takes place, try to schedule an announcement, media alert or product introduction in the ramp up period before the event. Incorporate special announcements into advertisements as added publicity.Marketing can also be accomplished through sponsorships and publications specifically distributed during the show. For example, trade show organizers often provide opportunities for companies to distribute special marketing materials or souvenirs just for sponsoring the show itself or a specific session in the schedule. Also, trade publications may also have special editions just for the show. Look into coverage in these as well. Other opportunities include contests for booth visitors, online listings on the show’s website and once the show is over, commencing follow-ups with press contacts. Offer them additional materials or assistance to keep you in the forefront of their minds.
  • When you get back from attending a trade show, make sure to debrief the event with your marketing, sales and PR agency. Make sure any deliverables and action points are understood and executed. Also, discuss what tactics worked and what didn’t so you know how to better optimize the opportunity next time.
  • Trade Show Strategy for Maximum Exposure

    1. 1. Maximizing Media Exposure at Trade Shows
    2. 2. The Value of Trade Shows and Events •  Face-to-face opportunities with key industry media and industry contacts •  Ideal exposure to your products and services •  Opportunities to network, initiate industry partnerships •  Observe competitor activity, gather industry knowledge •  Create new content for PR and social media activities •  Opportunities for press coverage
    3. 3. Trade Show Objectives - Interacting with Media •  Research media to understand their interests and purpose at the event. •  Marketing and publicity can both be achieved, but through different media contacts. •  Secure face-to-face meetings with editors. •  Utilize trade shows to communicate how your company is evolving and what new things it brings to the industry.
    4. 4. What is Newsworthy? •  A new product or service •  Major company news (mergers, acquisitions) •  Executive personnel change or restructure •  A new initiative that affects the industry •  Awards and recognitions •  A new distribution channel or partnership •  New research results
    5. 5. Strategy and Planning is a MUST! •  Create a plan for achieving objectives across marketing, PR and sales. •  Analyze and decide on newsworthy information – build media strategy around it. •  Communicate the plan to attending team members and designated spokespeople. •  Review media opportunities with spokespeople and brief them on communication points.
    6. 6. Networking with Press at Shows •  Press conference •  Networking events •  One-on-one appointments •  Interviews with spokespeople •  Sponsorship of an event or info session •  Speaking opportunities •  Lunch or dinner invitations "
    7. 7. Press Kits 101 •  Why are they necessary? •  What information is included? •  What format is best? •  How many do I need?
    8. 8. Other Publicity Opportunities •  Media alerts, announcements •  Show sponsorship and “swag” •  Special “dailies” or magazine issues •  Contests •  Online listings and newsrooms •  Exhibits •  Post-show follow-up"
    9. 9. After the Show, Discuss and Analyze •  Discuss value of show while it is fresh. •  What follow-ups are needed? •  What was accomplished? •  What would we do differently next year?"
    10. 10. About Schubert b2b Schubert b2b is a nationally recognized B2B marketing agency located in Downingtown, Pa., near Philadelphia. Building B2B brand leaders is our singular mission, and has been for 35 years.
    11. 11. Questions?" Feel free to contact us: 610.269.2100 Twitter @schubertb2b"