Navigating trade shows - the silver telegram

Tradeshows are in full swing. In fact, I have a packed schedule myself as we head into February and planning for Mobile World Congress. Navigating PR during this time can be tricky, whether you are an attendee or whether you’re not you should definitely have an idea of what tradeshows are going on and how to navigate your PR program around those shows so that your news doesn’t get lost in the mix. You may also want to consider that some of the reporters that you want to reach may be traveling and less responsive to your pitches. Here are 6 things to consider when navigating the busy season.

Identify all the major industry trade shows that may affect your audience

Just because you’re not going doesn’t mean the media won’t be there. Track the major upcoming shows so that you can plan your news around them. For example, don’t push a release during Mobile World Congress if you aren’t attending or have a presence. The likelihood that your news will get lost in the mix is high. Alternatively, if there’s a trade show coming to a city near you, you may be able to capitalize on media that are traveling for the show. We still believe that face to face is the best way to build relationships.

Pitch your news and stories in advance

Make sure you’re padding some time to your pitching. Earlier is always better than later. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard reporters respond with “I’m slammed with conference coverage the next two weeks, get back to me later”. Be smart and aware of these deadlines. Media often have the pressure to keep their news cue going, if you pitch early enough, maybe they can even get a story scheduled for a time where you’ll get some residual effects from a major show.

Always have the latest updated press kit

I always recommend a quarterly update to your press kit to include the latest press releases, product information, and spokesperson information, so that all your information is easy and quick to get to for the media.

Meet the media at any shows you’re exhibiting at

This may be obvious, but if you’re exhibiting at a trade show you can typically get the pre-registered media list of media that are attending. The list is typically released about a month in advance to exhibitors to make connections. Use that privilege and make those connections. That said, make sure your pitches are compelling and relevant when you are reaching out to them. You can get some more insights on our Meeting the Media blog.

Watch the highlights coming out of shows

Stay in touch with what your target reporters are talking about at the shows and any major news. You never know what news you may be able to piggyback off of. That said, many reporters that are covering news at shows aren’t always the reporters that cover those spaces and may just be working on show coverage. Always do your homework and make sure you’re reaching out to the right person.

Keep your conversations open

Traveling for conferences can sometimes be great because you never know when a media person will come your way or if you’re traveling for a conference or event, you going their way. Keep your conversations with media fluid, especially if there is interest. If you’re in their town, meet up with them. If they are in your town, offer to take them to lunch or show them around while they are there. Even if they are there for a conference, everyone has to eat sometime.

If you are attending a conference in the next six months and want to carve out your PR and media strategy, we are happy to help. Just contact us through The Silver Telegram. Happy trade show season and if you’re planning to be at any of the following conferences, shoot us a line:

Mobile World Congress

South By Southwest

TechDay New York

Collision Conference

Computex

CEDIA 2020

CE Week New York

Techcrunch Disrupt 2020

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