Once you get beyond sales and generating sales leads at tradeshows, the next biggest benefit of tradeshows is the opportunity for press: Newspapers, Websites, Magazines, Radio. TV. Podcasts. Blogs. Social Media.
Naturally there are going to be reporters covering the show. They’ve got to write about something and it might as well be your company. Ask yourself what you can bring to the table: a unique product? A new product? A major personnel switch in your corporate headquarters? Do you have a new partnership you want to publicize? Or do you have a celebrity endorser that is going to attract attention?
A little organization and legwork can yield excellent benefits. You may hit the jackpot and become a featured story in a magazine or newspaper, or even a cable TV show featurette. This could give you press coverage that – had you paid for the time and space – could be worth thousands, even millions of dollars.
Unfortunately many companies let this opportunity pass them by. If you don’t have a strategic plan in place, what are you waiting for?
Do some research and find out what media outlets typically cover the show. Are they local? Regional? Trade magazines or blogs?
Who are the main contact people? Do you work with an ad agency that has contacts at the outlets?
Next you’ll need to refine your message: what products or services do you want to highlight? Put together short but complete documents on the products.
Then you schedule appointments with your management, marketing departments, CEO – whoever is most appropriate for the news or online outlet – and book as many apointments during the show as possible.
And whenever you get a media hit, capture it: copies of newspaper or magazine articles, print-outs of blog posts; copies of videos, podcasts, etc. Use those as part of your growing media coverage kit. Play it up on YOUR company website and blog.
And keep in mind, the more you play the media game, the better you’ll get out of it. Take notes, determine what worked and what didn’t, and make adjustments next time.