tradeshow boothIf your company is planning to exhibit at a trade show and your firm has an intriguing new product or service to showcase, you may be able to generate thousands of dollars in free exposure by hiring a public relations specialist to get national and international media coverage. By hiring a public relations pro, you will be assured of getting releases to the industry trade media about that hot new product you are featuring. The trade show media will also be invited to your trade show booth for an interview with your company executive.

Be sure to keep in mind that a valuable and important publicity task is to create a comprehensive media kit. The kit should include background specifics on your company as well as an outline of your new product features and benefits. You should send this kit out in advance and also have it on hand to give to media trade show booth visitors. The press kit makes it easier for the media to write about the details of your story and learn why your news is meaningful to a broader audience.

Your trade show exhibit publicity campaign must begin with finding the right news hook or news angle. Your publicity team will help you craft and package your trade show news that makes sense for the trade show media to cover. And, in order to obtain trade show exhibit coverage, you need to plan ahead. Your media relations contact needs time to identify the trade show media that will cover your upcoming trade show.

Sending out media invitations to a specified media list with an invitation to visit your trade show exhibit booth with an offer to interview your firm’s spokesperson is critical. Your publicity person also needs to establish advance contact with the trade show media staff to learn what information they are sending out. It is also helpful to obtain the trade show pr staff’s specific media list that covers trade show online, broadcast and print media.

It’s critical for your publicity person to learn the story angles that the trade show PR staff might be pitching. This helps your pr agent avoid making a duplicate pitch and gives them the opportunity to piggyback your specific news to the general trade show theme. If one of the trade show pr staff’s angles is compatible with your company, product or service, you can hitchhike on the trade show PR efforts. Distributing your company news to the trade show PR staff is also extremely valuable as they often field media requests. They then will be able to refer the trade show media to your trade show exhibit when a reporter is looking for a case study or a specific story.

According to Trisha Britt, owner of Britt & Associates, an award-winning trade show public relations agency based in Mill Valley, California, there are specific steps to follow when working with trade show media. They are:

Begin by preparing a press release to announce an intriguing aspect of your trade show exhibit. Be sure to include your trade show booth number. Give editors and producers specific reasons why they should visit your trade show booth and interview your company spokesperson.

Do you have a new product or service to announce, a new member of the management team to introduce or a point of view that you are taking on an industry issue?

Also, suggest setting up a specific time for an interview with an expert from your company. Prepare a list of topics your executive can cover. At the minimum, make your executive give you a two hour window of time to be available at your trade show booth. Try to schedule interviews about 20 minutes in length, and make sure your executive is suitably attired for a photo or video shoot.

By having the media cover your trade show exhibit, you will expand your trade show exhibit story to a wider audience and develop ongoing contact with the trade show media for continuing news opportunities. It is a win/win situation.

About the Author
Jon Edelman provides exciting trade show marketing ideas, including advice about prize wheels, customizable scratch-off cards, money blowing machines, and other exciting trade show attractions. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, lead generation techniques, and networking with trade show vendors. Helping to build a referral-generating system, his ideas continuously lead to a boost in sales and revenue.