Folks it’s here – tradeshow season. For those of us working in the Outdoor industry, planning for SHOT Show, ATA and the agriculture shows is well underway.
Tradeshows provide a great opportunity to build relationships with the media, just as you would with your customers and buyers. As you know, your company is way more likely to get valuable media coverage from someone you’ve met, someone you’ve built a relationship with, someone you’ve helped and someone who considers you a friend.
There are several things you can do to help facilitate valuable connections and relationships with members of the media. We’ve prepared a few tips to help you make the most of your tradeshow season through media relations. Some may serve as reminders but all are a strategic way to improve your brand exposure.
- Invite Media Members to your Booth
Don’t assume the media will just show up at your booth and want to learn all about your new products. Invite them with a quick note or email before the show. Give them a “sneak peek” at what they have to look forward to when they visit. Welcome them and let them know you appreciate what they do. We would recommend having a designated booth representative responsible for visiting with media members. This will allow your sales team to focus on sales without unintentionally neglecting media members. After the show, follow up with them. Let them know you’re glad they stopped by and make yourself available if further assistance if needed.
- Press Materials that Help and Make Life Easier
Have press materials prepared and available that media members can take with them, materials that help them do their job and that help make their life easier. This could be a media kit with product information and photography on a thumb drive, a product guide or information sheet, a business card with a link to your digital pressroom resources, etc. The key takeaway here is “materials that help and make life easier.” Your company and products are a lot more likely to receive coverage when you have these customized materials readily available. Imagine if you were writing about your new products. What could be provided to make your job as easy as possible?
- Incorporate a Contest
Contests are fun, exciting and they create a buzz. In addition to that, they motivate people to take action. Consider incorporating a contest into your trade show marketing plan for media members. There are many different angles you can take on this, all of which can be effective. You can do a simple contest where media members can drop their card in a box to enter to win a prize. For a longer-term contest, you can do a writer’s contest where the best published article around a topic relevant to your products wins a cash prize. Whichever way you go, have fun with it, and the media will too. You’ll see the value in editorial coverage for many months following the show.
There are many things you can do to maximize the opportunity tradeshows provide to build media relations. For more ideas on how you can leverage tradeshows to get desired media coverage, check out our article MAXIMIZING MEDIA EXPOSURE AT TRADE SHOWS: TIPS AND TRICKS TO GET MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK.