Whether it’s your own user conference or an industry exposition, tradeshows present an important opportunity to increase brand awareness and thought leadership for your company. While most companies that choose to exhibit at a show understand its value for networking with new faces and allowing a sales team to speak with current and prospective customers face-to-face, not every organization capitalizes on this opportunity. Here are five PR best practices to make sure you are getting the most out of your tradeshows:
Consider pre-briefing journalists and analysts if you are leveraging a show to make a big announcement, or have an executive delivering a high-profile keynote. While an open conference floor is a convenient place to quickly speak with these individuals to update them about your company, it can be loud and hard to navigate. Pre-briefing key influencers ahead of the show enables your executive and spokespeople to ensure they’ve communicated clearly and away from the distractions that conferences’ chaos bring. This also allows the journalists and analysts you speak to an opportunity to fully digest the news by the time it is public, paving the way for potentially more thoughtful media coverage and questions.
You should also issue media alerts ahead of the show to inform the media community that matters most to your team of your expo showcase and any related workshops or topical webinars you plan on hosting.
Often, exhibiting companies hold separate learning sessions and workshops. These sessions are great opportunities for show attendees to learn more about your products, technology and innovation. However, outside of a general show agenda listing, many companies neglect to further promote these sessions. To ensure that these classrooms and workshops are filled with interested and eager conference goers, make sure to publicize your sessions at your booth formally, and not just verbally. Chances are, the people that are interested enough to stop by your booth will find your team’s sessions relevant as well. Prepare physical fliers to distribute with details about your session with an accompanying map if it takes place away from your booth.
The great thing about a tradeshow is that it brings together some of the most important influencers to your business at the same time and place. A great way to unite those that matter to your business is to hold a private event after show hours, such as a dinner, to gather everyone to network and catch up in a pleasant setting.
Press and analyst influencers are always interested in hearing third party testimonials. However, sorting logistics and asking your customers to take time from their busy schedules to speak on your behalf can be tricky. If you find that some of your best customers plan on attending the same shows as you, see if they have a few moments to spare to speak to a reporter alongside you, while everyone is in the same building. You’ll be killing two birds with one stone.
Most shows have a hashtag that you can leverage to be part of the social media buzz surrounding the expo. Posting pictures, tweeting live from the show floor and even uploading videos of your tradesow activities are great ways to drive traffic to your company’s Twitter account, increase booth traffic and raise brand awareness. Videos can include booth demos or interviews with attending customers and partners. Karbo Communications client, TDK Corporation of America, is an excellent example; they are great at promoting their show presence on their Twitter page, @TDKAmerica.
Do you have more ideas on how companies can optimize their time at an exposition? If so, tweet us and let us know! @KarboCo