Trade shows are a great way to network with other businesses in your industry as well as to get your brand name and your business more exposure. But, to really generate buzz around your business, you need to start ramping your marketing machine into high gear well before the trade show even starts.
You should make sure that you are planning your publicity and PR strategy for the event well in advance. Develop all marketing materials, create a media kit to encourage press coverage, draft press releases, consider sponsorships or partnerships that will raise the profile of your company and provide a positive image when attending expos. Be creative. For example, you might consider sponsoring a sustainability initiative that integrates your services or products into making the trade show more environmentally-friendly.
Make sure that you follow what the trade show PR staff are doing. If they are trying to portray the show in a certain way or encouraging a particular type of coverage, take advantage of that to mold your own PR and publicity materials to synthesize and integrate with theirs. This makes it more likely that you can piggy-back on their message with your own compatible or complementary publicity materials.
Of course, when attending any expos, it is absolutely essential to produce a press release about your company’s reason for attendance. This is a great opportunity to publicize your brand and demonstrate your utility and leadership in the industry. You want to make sure that your press release makes you stand out while simultaneously showing what your brand brings to the industry that is new and fresh, and what you hope to get out of attending the trade show.
When developing publicity materials and honing your PR and marketing strategy, make sure that you are targeting the right audience. Having a beautifully designed and eye-catching exhibit booth design at the trade show is an important part of generating buzz about your brand and business, but you don’t just want a lot of attention–you want the right attention, and attention from the right people. So, make sure you are targeting media that can give you free advertising in the form of coverage or air time. Make sure you are seeking out potential leads and thinking about potential partnerships or customers.
Lastly, pay attention to how other businesses are promoting themselves ahead of the trade show. You don’t want to imitate them or attack them, but even the most confident and expert marketing or PR expert can learn from others and particularly from the media and social media buzz surrounding the event. As a last tip, make sure to utilize social media to generate excitement and intrigue. This is a relatively easy and low-cost form of publicity and you should take advantage of it as much as possible.