Exhibiting at trade shows is a great way to increase a company’s visibility through face-to-face interactions with consumers and industry publications. But the trade show planning process can sometimes be both stressful and overwhelming for a company to attempt all on its own. Below you’ll find some of the ways in which hiring a public relations agency for trade show support could be beneficial and how doing so could take a big weight off your company’s proverbial shoulders.
Planning Press Materials
It’s no secret that the busiest booths are the brands with significant brand recognition. While it might be hard to compete with powerhouse companies, even smaller businesses and startups can have their time to shine.
One of the most important ways a public relations firm can help make this happen is written press materials. In fact, this part of trade show preparation is at the very core of what PR pros do – write and distribute press materials! Building out a press kit that features the company’s latest and greatest news is crucial to a successful show. From case studies and testimonials to new product news, a press kit (or media kit) is important to have on-hand. But getting all of this vital information together can be daunting. Fortunately, it can be managed by a PR firm with keen knowledge of the industry.
Getting the Word Out
In addition to compiling and writing the news, PR agencies with a strong presence in your specific market will have a proprietary list of media contacts to which the news can be distributed. This is an immense asset to driving attendees and media representatives to your booth at the show. Press releases that highlight your new product, service or company initiative will give others an idea of what they can expect to learn about in person. This may lead to more editorial opportunities in the future ― which is another important reason to have a PR representative with you at the show and during the trade show planning process.
Trade Show Daily Magazines
We’ve all seen them ― those oversized (dare I say, tabloid-sized) glossy magazines splashed with the show logo, breaking news and, quite possibly, your competitor on the cover. Being published in a trade show’s daily magazine is essential to a brand’s exposure at an event as it hits the email inbox (and hotel room) of every attendee. Many are also sent via email to the publisher’s additional readership base. Coordinated by the organizers, trade show publications consist of the latest event, company and equipment news from the show. But not everyone knows how to get their news into those shiny things! And that’s another way that a PR firm is a value-added solution to your trade show preparation.
Those media contacts we mentioned above? They’re the ones you need to know to get all the details on deadlines, submission guidelines and more. That’s why hiring a reputable firm with a strong tie to the media professionals is so important. Not only will your PR rep monitor the daily deadlines, they also keep an eye out for any other media opportunities related to the show. From video interviews to magazine coverage, the firms in your industry will know exactly what, when and how to shine a spotlight on your brand.
One-on-One Meetings with the Media
If you’ve been to a trade show, chances are you’ve walked past your competitor’s booth. Further, you’ve likely seen some of the reps standing there chatting with folks with cameras, audio recorders and/or reporters’ notebooks. One of the key benefits of having media relations at a trade show is the one-on-one meetings between company representatives and editorial personnel in the industry. The ability to consult with the media in-person about your products or services can bring awareness to a brand and help generate future editorial opportunities in relevant publications. But those appointments can be hard to come by: you usually have to ‘know a guy’ ― or gal. (A little secret? That guy or gal is usually a PR rep.)
Editors who attend trade shows generally book meetings months in advance; and it often takes a fair amount of effort and persistence to secure these meetings. A PR firm will not only set aside the time for this, but its representatives will also make doing so a top priority. With a wealth of industry contacts to pull from, you can rely on a PR professional to reach out to target outlets and coordinate a media appointment schedule that meets the needs of your brand.
Press Events and Demos
Most trade shows also offer the option to demo your product in-person through scheduled events, which are great forms of visibility for a company. Events such as press conferences can help spread information about your product or service more widely to end users, industry professionals and even media representatives. Better still, these events are also often covered in the show’s daily news magazine – so long as they’re made aware of them. Having a PR representative that is familiar with the industry will not only ensure great media attendance at these events, it will also benefit the brand’s subsequent editorial coverage. Many PR firms will also help advise on the planning of these events ― suggesting days/times and topics, and more.
Industry Award Nominations
Receiving an industry award that honors a product or service is a big accomplishment for a company, especially during trade show season. These recognitions help raise awareness about a brand’s products or services while also cementing its reputation as a positive and innovative force within the industry.
Submitting a nomination for an industry award is just another perk that comes with the support of a PR agency during the trade show planning process. Not only do PR professionals stay up-to-date with award opportunities, guidelines and deadlines, they will also draft the information required for the nomination process. Allowing a PR firm to take the reins of applicable trade show awards can help keep you on track with submissions and is more likely to garner positive results.
White Paper and Speaker Panel Submissions
One thing you might want to consider during your trade show planning is panel discussions and industry journals. While these aren’t always brand specific, they are still a great opportunity to showcase the knowledge and expertise of a company’s leadership. Panels can cover everything from upcoming technology, deep dives into certain products, new management styles and more.
Consideration for inclusion in a journal or presence at one of these events often requires a formal proposal submission. As with other trade show opportunities, your PR agency will be right there to gather the details, help draft your proposal and submit it for consideration. If selected, a formal presentation might be required. In these cases, having a PR firm with experienced technical writers is ideal. Not only can they help formulate the talking points necessary to the white paper or presentation, they can also proofread the final piece before it makes its way to trade show leadership.
With NAMM, NAB, InfoComm and IBC among the largest music and broadcast technology conventions on the horizon, now is the perfect time to incorporate PR into your show planning. If your company is looking to exhibit at any of these shows, support from a well-known industry PR agency like D. Pagan Communications could be a huge help. To learn more, visit https://www.dpagan.com/trade-show-support.