In the third and final installment of our blog series on optimizing trade show planning, we’ll cover the remaining tactics to help you make the most of every event this year. Some are more tactical than others, but all are equally important to ensure executives and other spokespeople are prepared to meaningfully engage with press, analysts and other industry influencers.
MILESTONE 7 – RESEARCH
Pre-interview research is often overlooked, but it can be a difference-maker. A few weeks before an event, start digging into reporters’ slants, past work and what’s coming up on the editorial calendar. This step ensures spokespeople are well-prepared to navigate the topics at hand and contribute a new idea or point that translates to ink.
MILESTONE 8 – CONFIRM
Closer to the event, confirm all meeting logistics with a quick email or phone call. This ensures that executives aren’t waiting around the booth for a reporter who isn’t coming. Likewise, you don’t want a relationship with a new reporter to start with a no-show executive. It’s the PR pros job to facilitate the productive use of everyone’s time.
MILESTONE 9 –TRAIN
A couple of weeks before a trade show, train spokespeople to respond to press clearly, pause for follow-up questions, hit key messages and avoid traps and sensitive topics. Be sure the spokesperson knows exactly who they’re talking to, what their background is, how seasoned they are and what their opinions are about the topics at hand. That way, they know when and how to pivot.
MILESTONE 10 – CAPITALIZE
The last milestone on your timeline is a couple of weeks after the event. This is the time to capitalize on each meeting, solidify relationships and start executing next steps. You should also ask journalists about their plans for coverage so you’re the first to share it with leadership and others in your organization to show ROI.
Follow these milestones and you are poised for trade show success! For an overview of all ten milestones on your trade show planning timeline, listen to our recent webinar 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.