4 golden rules to attract media at trade shows
While the main objective for B2B companies to exhibit at trade shows is capturing leads to acquiring new business, brand awareness is a major secondary goal.
Attracting media to your booth is certainly the best way to achieve such objective, but how to proceed?
Here are the 5 golden rules to attract media to your exhibition booth.
Prepare your Media Kit
To get the media to talk about your products, the first thing to do is to provide them with (valuable) content. Unless your company is very famous or your news incredibly powerful, journalists won’t spend time searching for information and material to talk about you. You must provide them with everything they need – make it so easy for them they couldn’t refuse .
Traditionally, a PR Kit is a physical file / box / folder containing information and samples. Nowadays, a digital folder is handier! Some companies like to use USB thumb drives, but we recommend using the cloud instead to reduce costs, keep control over the content, make it more accessible and avoid having people losing your data.
What should my Media Kit contain?
A good PR Kit contains the following information:
- company introduction
- company factsheet (figures, facts, graphs – key elements about your business that make it worth talking about)
- company timeline (your historic, major dates and milestones)
- major products / services / innovations introduction
- bio of the founder / CEO / key employees
- high res photos and logos (a good article always comes with a photo – if you don’t provide it, you risk losing control over your content or losing the article altogether)
The strategy is to always provide something very short to give a quick overview with links to find out more. Make it very easy to grasp the meaning of your documents within seconds , don’t lose your reader in pages of text.
Build your story
Most companies have no story to tell, hence no PR coverage.
Unless you have some incredible innovation to share or an internationally famous brand, why would people talk about you?
You need to have a story that will captivate your audience.
The story can be about your company and what it stands for (WWF, IKEA, Nike have a purpose, a story to tell) or about your CEO or founder on his own journey or unique personality (Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson built their company’s image around their own story).
Figure out what is your story and make is worth telling!
Here is a great example of story building – Lalamove, Asia’s largest logistics startup for last mile delivery, built the story of its founder, Shing Chow, ex-standford-student-bain-employee-professional-poker-player-then-entrepreneur. That’s a story worth telling that captivated the media (TechCrunch, e27, TechInAsia, CNN, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, etc). Find out more on e27.
Publish some PR
If the trade show is small, chances are that media coverage will be limited.
If the show is big, chances are that there will be too many exhibitors for you to stand out.
In both cases, you will need to get the spotlight on yourself if you want to stand out!
Write a press release announcing that you will be exhibiting at the show. Make it bold. Use your story as the backbone of your release and add some suspense into it. Talk about innovation, announcement, exclusive information, etc.
If your press release is boring, don’t even bother publishing it. It would have no impact and would only waste your time. Write something worth reading that makes people (and media) want to come pay you a visit.
Once written, publish your PR and relay it through your own networks (website, Social Media, blog, newsletter, etc.), send it to journalists within your network and invite your partners to help you spread it.
Benefit from trade show opportunities
Most exhibitions offer visibility opportunities. Some are free, most must be paid for.
Avoid purely advertising offers (banners, logos, etc.) that make sense mostly for large corporates. Instead, look into what the organizer can help you with to drive media to your booth – at the end of the day, he will benefit from it as well, so he has all the reasons to help you if he feels you have potential.
Does the show offer a media room to make your kit available to journalists?
Does it have an official press release you could be part of?
Look into what the show has to offer early on and build your strategy around it.
Prepare a Q&A sheet
You did everything right and some journalists stop by your booth, well done!
They start talking with your staff. Your team members have been trained for capturing leads and educating visitors, but do they have a clue on how to handle media? Most probably not.
You will certainly ask them to direct journalists to you, but what if you’re not here or the journalist has no time to wait?
Prepare a Q&A sheet for internal purpose. This sheet should contain the top 10 questions you expect journalists to ask about your business and the “correct” answers your staff should be giving.
Use this document to standardize your numbers (you don’t want a person to claim a number and another one say something different!) and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Distribute this Q&A document before the show and tell your team to read it and memorize it carefully.
You are now fully ready for the show!