Trade Show Handbook  
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Getting Press Attention At Trade Shows

When introducing a new product at a trade show, how can you get the press to take notice? Have your staff watch for those wearing press badges and greet them quickly. Make sure to give a demonstration while they are there at your booth. Provide a giveaway that they can take with them to remember your booth.

Know where your spokespeople are at all times. Have them stick to a schedule or wear a beeper so they can be contacted at any time. Put press kits in the press room and stock it daily. The press kit should include a photo, product release, company literature, and contact information. If feasible, introduce the new product at a press conference. Make your material simple and focus on the benefits of the product. Have a spokesperson on hand to answer questions.

If there is a newsletter published at the show, contact the editors before the show starts and ask for exposure in the newsletter.

Target your customer group before, during, and after trade shows.

Because the average trade show consumer has chosen almost 80% of the booths they plan to visit, you need to contact your target clients before, during, and after the show. The reason for participation in a trade show is to gain new clients and build your company reputation. The following are ideas that will help you to reach your goals before, during, and after the show. Before the show, your promotion should contain the show's registration list using either this year's or the year before, a catchy design for your booth that will attract people, and an email invitation sent to potential clients with a teaser to peak their interest.

During the show, your exhibit should target potential clients with a personal and open approach that will allow the client to see you are there to meet their needs. When considering a promotional giveaway, remember:
  1. Make it original so clients will remember your company.
  2. Keep the product out of sight as it will reduce your expense on the items.
  3. Give a potential sales leads a unique giveaway.
After the show, follow up is extremely important. Send a postcard, or make a phone call. Using a personal method to follow up can give your company a bigger presence than your booth at the show allowed. Be creative.

Promotion Execution Worksheet
  • Have a specific idea of what you want clients to see and do in the booth so you can plan to make it happen.
  • What will happen when the clients bring preshow advertising materials to the booth?
  • How and when will you use giveaways?
  • Will you require those with invitations to visit the booth to claim their prize or do they get another prize for stopping by?
  • What is required of the staff to make the booth work? Assign a task to each area of the booth and to each staff member.
  • What do you want your clients to do during their visit to your booth? How will you handle traffic flow if you are in an island booth?
  • How will your booth activities help you to achieve your goals? For example, how will the activities help clients to read the literature, talk to a staff member, or visit the demonstration area?
  • How will your giveaway items help to collect sales leads in order for your staff to do accurate, comprehensive follow-ups after the show?
  • How will you retain your contacts after the show? What messages and ideas will help you in this?
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