February 17, 2013

Power up your PR at trade shows

If you are like most companies a conference or trade show is a considerable expense. Flights, the Booth, staff and more. Get additional ROI with a strong media profile at the conference. The whole point of being there is to make yourself known to key people, companies, and decision makers. Connect with them through the media covering the show. They are your target media – plus they report beyond the conference to a global audience. Don’t miss the opportunity to talk to media and tell them your story. Note: Remember to also make your own news with social media.

Be early

Catch media the day before a conference – and reap the rewards

Yes plan at least three months ahead and book in interviews with key media. But you can also get great opportunistic coverage the day before. Media want the story before the conference starts so if your executives are at the conference at set up time make the media know. They are often looking for interviews and visuals (footage/pics). The Show Daily always needs a story for the first day (they usually have their stories sorted – but might want a real conference pic) so if you can give them a fresh story and a pic of your executive at the conference – the day before – you could get prime profile.

Show/conference  electronic press kit

This should be available on your website as a link which can be emailed as a link and an electronic copy to media. Keep it to just one page and use links to press releases and images, announcements and videos rather than load up the document and risk it being too big to send or receive. For our Electronic Press Kit Template email us on [email protected]

Take your own photos

Never underestimate the power of an image – even on an iPhone. You may have a deal or agreement with a big name at the conference, but rather than going through the long process of corporate approval, a “conference pic” is the way to go. Take a general conference pic with your executive walking past a partner booth or with the booth in the background complete with their branding. This is a great way to share a relevant pic without upsetting anyone – most importantly your partner/client – while delivering a great image to people reporting on your company.


Have your b-roll – raw TV footage – available on a USB and a link or YouSendIt ready to give or email to media. Ensure easy access to your footage and you will get powerful coverage – especially if the footage is from the other side of the world – they get that international perspective without leaving home!

Bring a widget

Always have a working model, a gadget or a sample product – a prop – if you want to get TV footage or a pic in conference media. No one wants to see just an executive standing there talking in front of a booth. The more interesting and exotic/unusual the gadget the more chance of getting in media – online, print and TV.

Visit the Press Room

Make sure your media-facing executive visits the press room on the first day. This is a room/building full of media – bloggers through to TV. There is always a press release box where you can distribute your news hard copy and companay brochures. Don’t bother the working reporters, but if you can chat to at least some of the key media as you walk around you will have achieved a great connection and improve your chances of a news profile later in the show/conference. Also many of the interviews and press conferences are held in the Press Room so it is good to make you executive familiar with the layout, location, and distance from the booth. Note: often only media are allowed in so respect this.

Get on a panel

A great profile opportunity is to sponsor or present on a panel presentation. Tell all your media via a press release – not just media at the conference. Conference media may attend and may report on it,

Social Media

Tweet and Facebook your iPhone images from the conference using your industry hashtags and the one for the

Tell the world when you are interviewing with key media editors

conference. They can include panel presentations, interviews with key industry media, meetings with dignitaries, deal announcements, and more.

Invite media to interview at the Booth

Always try and have media come to the booth – they can see all your video’s and set-up – it always makes you look more professional. Treat media like VIPs and give them any VIP giveaways – it is astounding how many companies will hoard gifts when media are your most powerful voice at a conference/trade show. For TV make sure you look after the camera person and the sound person they are part of the TV crew and will often influence coverage.

Limited access

If you are coming from overseas and only in town for a few days make sure media know that. Leverage “the window of opportunity” that they have to meet your team. This is their chance to meet your people face-to-face and they probably won’t get another change until the next industry conference maybe a year away. Even if they don’t use the story around the conference they can have it in their story bank to roll out post conference.

Spend $ on pull up stand design

These are great backdrops for media pics and interviews – don’t scrimp on the design of these! Always have the information in the top half and go easy on the words – images are much more powerful. If you have a set of 4-5 all with the same theme with different examples, this is your Booth backdrop.

Work with the organisers

The organisers want to see wins out of the conference/show, so any deals or developments make sure you send the press release to them as they will probably post it on the conference site as well as send out to attendees. They have KPIs so make sure they know about your successes!

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