In part one of this blog series, we explored the importance of established media relationships, a creative news strategy and the support of third parties to effective trade show planning. In part two, we’ll focus on how to generate a sense of momentum around your company and strategically engage with media for maximum impact. Follow these tips and you’ll be well-positioned for a successful trade show season.
MILESTONE 4 – CREATE BUZZ
Building up excitement about your company and brand is a good approach to piquing the interest of media, industry influencers and prospects. Oftentimes there are opportunities to participate in event preview features or product spotlights in key publications leading up to an event. The editors typically look for content a couple of months in advance so best to inquire early. Many publications have these sections for major events over the course of the year which you can plan for and build into timelines.
MILESTONE 5 – PITCH WITH PURPOSE
Pitching onsite press meetings at a trade show should start at least six to eight weeks in advance. Lead with your strongest asset – whether that’s news, a customer or new research. Remember, pitches need to capture the interest of your target. If you’re short on assets, a good strategy is to focus on difficult challenges the reporter’s audience is grappling with and help them imagine a better future.
Moreover, tailor the pitch as much as you can. Some publications will want a strong news hook, others a case study angle, while analysts will want to talk about the market and emerging trends. As part of the tailoring process for your pitches, also consider tailoring the spokesperson to ensure you’re offering the most knowledgeable executive on the topic.
MILESTONE 6 – FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP AGAIN
There are hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of vendors vying for the attention and time of just a few dozen journalists and analysts at trade shows. Besides having a compelling pitch, being consistent and persistent is a key success factor. This is a significant time and resource commitment and for that reason designating someone as the arms and legs of the effort is important. Part of the strategy should be keeping an asset or information nugget in your back pocket for necessary follow-up. That might be the piece that tips the scale and gets a journalist to say “yes” to your offer.
Look for more milestones on your trade show planning timeline in the third and final installment of our series in February. If you can’t wait, you can listen to our recent webinar on the topic here here.
If you have questions about trade show planning or are interested in connecting with our team about HIMSS, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.