Tradeshows are a vital part of promoting your company. They get you out there making human connections with industry insiders and sometimes the public-at-large, depending on the type of show. Utilizing this opportunity to its full extent is in your company’s best interest. Especially with the costs of the booths alone, not to mention all the add-ons and possible travel/hotel expenses for your team—packing as much into every trade show as possible is a must!
One of the ways to do that is to meet with media that are covering the event. Media can mean a lot of things, it can be general media like area news outlets, or industry-specific media including popular industry publications, bloggers, vloggers and podcasters alike. Getting some face-time with these folks increases the likelihood that you end up with a deeper connection with those at the event following event coverage and those that couldn’t make the event but want to stay on top of industry trends.
You’ll want to plan your media appointments before even arriving at the tradeshow. Pre-tradeshow strategy and goal-setting is imperative to a successful event. What are the end results you are seeking? Are you attending the tradeshow as a branding opportunity? Are you looking to sell product and need to hit a specific ROI? Are you launching a new product and want to create buzz and interest before the launch? Answering these questions will inform the types of media with which you’ll want to meet. Not all media coverage will be beneficial to your goal, and having a day completely packed with interviews and meetings can be overwhelming. You’ll want to be busy to make the most of your time, but also be selective about what media is gaining access to your booth and staff.
Once you have your goals defined and have identified your ideal media outlets, reach out to these media outlets with a pitch. Spark their interest and show why your company would be a good addition to their event coverage. You’ll want to do this in advance so that you have plenty of time to get their buy-in and schedule the tradeshow meeting time. Media schedules get booked up fast, so reaching out early is the best way to secure coverage in a timely manner. Plus, if you have media that’s passing on the opportunity, it gives you the option to reach out to second string media without cliffhanging before the event.
Finally, when you do meet with media, make sure that your spokesperson has had media training. It can be a bit startling to have a reporter with a microphone and potentially a camera in their face—so you’ve got to be ready. When the entire team knows the communications goals, brand messaging and ideal touchpoints, it makes their interviews that much more successful. You’ll ideally want to choose members of your team that can be authentic and speak in the brand voice. It might be a good idea to get a list of questions in advance, or to at least develop some likely questions and practice answers to them out loud in front of an audience.
Once the tradeshow is done, you’ve still got work to do! It’s ideal to secure post-event press coverage to keep the momentum from the show going. Send pitches and follow up with all media with whom you met. And finally, make sure to maintain positive relationships with media that has covered you, so that contacting them for future coverage is organic and natural.
For support with media strategy in advance of your next tradeshow, contact Beyond Fifteen today!