Mar 08, 2017

How to Pick the Perfect Time for Your Next Trade Show Product Launch

There are many advantages to timing new product or service announcements around trade shows. For one, getting the media attention is easier since the press are already looking for big announcements coming out of the show.

Using your trade show presence to get more exposure for your news can be a great move, but deciding exactly when to distribute your announcements can be challenging. There are advantages and disadvantages for releasing your new product announcement before, during and after the show.

We’ve already explored, How to Know IF Your Product Launch Is ‘Trade Show Ready’,  so in this blog post, you’ll learn WHEN is the best time to release your new product news around an event.

Before the show

Provided you have a demo or free giveaways ready, announcing a new product or service before the show is a great choice since it can create excitement to see it in person. Pre-show launches also give a chance for attendees to learn about your new offering ahead of time in order to cultivate a more deep and meaningful discussion at the show.

The downside to a pre-show launch is, many other companies follow this model, so your news will be competing with many other announcements.

PRO Tip: If you are announcing a new product or service before the show, create excitement to see it at the event. Get the attending press list from the event organizer and invite press to come see it. You should also create a landing page or microsite for the new product or service’s debut at the show.

During the show

The great thing about launching a product during a show is you can pair excitement with mystery. Ever seen a news story teaser on TV? They give you just enough information to entice you but not so much that you feel like you don’t need to see the story. Creating this feeling will ensure attendees and media make it a point to stop at your booth.

The Downside? Events can be hectic so if you release your product announcement during the show, interested parties might not see it. Playing the waiting game could also work against you if attendees and the media already have their booth visits for the show planned out.

If you decide to launch during the show, send news releases before the show hyping up the “Top Secret” new product or service. In order to generate anticipation, the releases could mention the problem the product or service will solve, but not what the product or service is itself.

PRO Tip: You can also hold your own mini event at your booth for the unveiling. Make sure your unveiling doesn’t conflict with any other major events going on at the show and send announcements inviting the media and prospects so they can add your event to their agendas.

After the show

The perk of launching a product after a show, is you still get to ride the wave of the show excitement without having to compete directly with the hundreds of other announcements that happen before and during the show.

This time is also beneficial because show audiences aren’t rushing around to get ready for the show, or too busy at the show to see your news. Once an event is over, readers have the time to take a beat and digest your news without the looming checklist of tasks overhead.

The downside to this timing is, if you want to use a new product or service to draw visitors to your event booth, this tactic won’t accomplish that goal.

PRO Tip: If you decide to launch your product or service after the show, tie it to any industry news/trends that you learned at the event.

For example, during the International Home and Housewares show in 2016, they had a talk called “How Millennials Make Themselves at Home.” This talk explored how millennials are into healthy eating (making blenders popular for smoothies/juicing), they tend to be in smaller spaces (so they are in to furniture that serves multiple purposes) and they have an inclination to be tidy (making upright vacuums popular among the group).

If your product or service fits into a conference talk like this, tying your announcement to it is a great way to show thought leadership, showcase your new product and show its relevance in today’s society.

Accomplishing your event goals should be the top priority for deciding when to distribute your news. Find out what’s most important for your company and weigh the pros and cons, and you’ll be sure to pick the perfect time to release your new product or service announcements at events.

Author Caterina Lui is a senior customer content specialist for Virtual Press Office, PR Newswire’s trade show marketing solutions division. VPO helps global event professionals, exhibitors and trade show marketing managers reach their goals through news distribution and online press kit creation. Follow Caterina at @VPOEventZone, our Twitter channel dedicated to the trade show industry.

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