How to Get the Most Out of a Trade Show

By Jenna Oltersdorf

Trade shows are a great way to build relationships with media contacts and work on story development. Here are a few of my favorite Do’s and Don’ts when planning trade show attendance.

DO get a list of media attending the show. 

DO early outreach to media. Reach out early to find out what their goals are once at the show and how you might be able to help. Be sure these contacts are setting aside some time to meet with you at the show.

DO draw media to your booth through one-on-one interviews with a spokesperson.

DO Plan product announcements around key trade shows.

DON’T be tough to find. The last thing you want to do is force your media contacts to look for your spokesperson. Include multiple cell phone numbers and be sure those numbers are manned by someone who has direct access to your spokesperson and their schedule.

DO create an online media kit that includes all announcements, bios, etc. you’re providing at the show. 

DON’T expect all of your media contacts to want to lug a traditional media kit home with them. Not everyone wants to haul 62 media kits home with them and your journalist contacts will appreciate your thoughtfulness 

DO Supply hard copies of news releases, fact sheets, bios, brochures, etc. in the press room at the show if permitted. 

DO create a master schedule of your company’s activities while at the show and share it with all company representatives that are attending. 

DON’T expect reporters to come to you to book interviews with your spokesperson. Expect to do a little leg work to help reporters find your spokesperson and be prepared to brief these contacts on the news you’ll be sharing.

What are your favorite tips for navigating a trade show? We'd love to hear from you!

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