By Rosemarie Ascherl, PR Foreman, Sonnhalter
Industry trade shows are much more than just a chance to get out of the office and mingle with prospective customers, answering questions about the newest product launches with aching feet and dry mouths. Industry trade shows are actually terrific opportunities for connecting with industry trade editors who are attending the trade shows to report on the latest and greatest happenings in their markets.
Here are a few ideas to take advantage of the editors’ presence:
1. Schedule editor meetings at your booth. Contact the trade show management a couple of months ahead of time to obtain its list of registered media. Review the list and identify editors who are key to your industry or who are unfamiliar with your products and services, but should be familiar.
Contact the editors to determine if they are interested in meeting with a company representative. Chances are they will be. Editors want to make the best use of their time at trade shows to gather information that they can share with the readers of their publications, e-newsletters and on their websites, to showcase the latest industry trends. Make sure you are prepared to walk the editor through a short presentation and demonstration of your company’s products or services at the booth and then leave them with a thumb drive or a link to follow-up press materials.
2. Press events. Have a worthy product introduction or key company news? Depending on its newsworthiness [see below], a press event, in the form of a media breakfast, media luncheon or media cocktail hour, is an extremely effective method for conveying important company information and building favorable media relationships.
Depending on the trade show’s rules and regulations, the event can be held at your company’s booth before or after show hours, or at a nearby hotel or restaurant venue. A short presentation by company executives, demonstrations, networking, socializing and the all-important leave-behind press materials can make for a very valuable hour and a half event for key media contacts.
3. Press conferences. Reserved for only the most important of company announcements, it is recommended that press conferences be planned judiciously. While we like to believe that our company’s product improvement is extremely important to the industry—in perspective, it may not be perceived as quite that important to busy editors that are shuffling through multiple invitations and parceling out their precious time.
Make sure a press conference is warranted, because an empty press conference room will be a disappointment to not only the team that planned it, but also the company executives.
Are you taking advantage of these trade show opportunities with industry trade media? If you’re not, you should be!