To show or not to show

We go to a LOT of exhibitions and trade shows. Some good, some disappointing and all taking a large chunk of marketing budget. Here's a nine- point guide on how your PR team can help you make the most of being there. 

1. Capitalise on add-ons: Are there opportunities to speak at associated conferences / seminars? It's always worth putting forward a relevant presentation as the organisers will help promote your presence.

2. Tell your customers you're going to be there and personally invite them to your stand.

3. Celebrate: if you've something new to say, say it loudly and stage a specific event on your stand as a focus for your attendance at the show. Make sure your most important people are there to meet and greet.

4. Capitalise on pre-show publicity: work with the organisers to make sure your information is included in all previews

5. Invite the press: it's a good opportunity to meet with journalists you don't often see. Invite them personally and arrange one-to-one interviews for those you most want to influence.

6. Get social: use your social media channels ruthlessly to spread information about your presence, what you're up to and how the show progresses.

7. Have press-friendly information immediately available: ie specially written press releases - NOT product brochures - with high resolution photographs ready to use.

8. Follow up. Make sure you capture contact details from all visitors and ask your PR agency to follow up with every journalist. You should view these contacts as the start of a new relationship rather than a one-off meeting.

9.Review and evaluate. Be ruthless in analysing the value of the contacts you made before deciding whether it was worth attending.

Posted by George Green