A well-designed trade show exhibit and a well-executed trade show marketing plan can help your company attract positive media coverage, even with the strong competition from the many other exhibitors at the event. Stay in contact with trade show organizers throughout the year; they engage in promotional activities that involve the media on an ongoing basis. This will open opportunities to get your company or products included in newsletters and press releases that are distributed by the organizer on a regular basis.
Three months before the show, contact the organizers public relations department and offer to assist with publicity activities. Offer to contribute industry information, research and expert interviews to help the organizer publicize the show and create media interest.
Have your press kit prepared one month before the event and make sure it includes a company overview and key information about your products and services, a company fact sheet and time line, performance reports and recent news articles and coverage. Also include executive biographies with photographs and any other marketing materials that will help reporters gain understanding of your market position and competitive differences. Make arrangements to have your press kit placed in the media room at the event and keep some extra copies in your trade show display area.
A few weeks before the show, begin your own promotions and publicity efforts by contacting important trade and area reporters that are likely to cover the event, as well as media representatives that are pre-registered for the show. For the press to be interested you must have newsworthy information to share such as new product information or research findings on the latest industry trends. Provide reporters with your media kit, a press release covering your news and offer to serve as a media source at the event. If you have a significant news announcement to make, consider scheduling a press conference during the event and personally inviting key media to attend.
Designate a single contact person within your organization for all media inquiries and interviews; this person should be a senior level representative from your company. Also, be prepared for the unexpected by making sure your trade show staff is well versed in communicating your company message and prepared for possible questions that may arise unexpectedly from the media and prospects.