Trade shows can be an endless sea of opportunity, engagement, and information. With waves of messaging bombarding attendees at every turn, though, how do you ensure your brand’s voice rises to the top?
Event marketers must provide a map where “x” marks the
spot call-to-action to help audiences dive deeper. After all, how else will your audience know your treasure trove of quality content exists, let alone where to look?
When it comes to amplifying your trade show presence, an online press kit is one of the best ways to house your content riches, and a multichannel marketing strategy will provide your audience with plenty of paths to this jackpot.
Before your next event sets sail into uncharted waters, plot a course for promotion using the ideas below.
Owned Media Oasis
Take advantage of your brand channels by utilizing everything from company website real estate to proprietary email lists. Most of the legwork here will be done well in advance of the show and is critical to the overall success of your campaign; therefore, the earlier you have your trade show details and online press kit link available, the better.
Blog posts are a great way to candidly discuss everything from your brand’s excitement about an upcoming event to dropping hints about a new product launch at the show. If a company executive is presenting or speaking on a panel, consider a post that features their story.
Targeted email invites for demos or interviews are another place to promote your press kit link. To create event-specific email lists, start with the clients, prospects, and journalists you connected with at last year’s show. From there, review email leads from previous events and crosscheck them against the current exhibitor and attendee lists. Take the time to then research your local client base through social media monitoring and industry circles to uncover if any of them will be attending the show. Once you have your audience segmented into specific groups, tailor your email messaging accordingly.
Anchor your event message with visuals. Promote your story on your website with visual cues such as banner imagery, videos, etc. If your site has a section dedicated to events, be sure to add all of your upcoming trade shows to the calendar.
Social Media Straits
As hubs of interaction, knowledge, and networking, it’s no wonder that events produce an abundance of social media chatter. Ride the wave of conversation before, during, and after the show to capitalize on every opportunity social media has to offer.
Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms among event-goers. However, that doesn’t mean you should underestimate the power of other channels. Be present where your audience is. When sharing your press kit link via social media, use the official event hashtag and enhance your social posts with multimedia. A custom graphic created to accompany your press kit link can be repurposed across Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other channels.
Be creative when live-tweeting from the event. Giveaways and contest details, demo announcements, interview requests and general show commentary are popular choices for trade show tweets. Any special event at your booth—such as a celebrity or special character swinging by for photo ops or autographs—also makes perfect social media fodder. By incorporating your press kit link into these posts, it’s easy to write a snappy line of text and have the nitty-gritty details housed on the kit.
Social media is a two-way street. For as many posts as you make, you want to spend equal time – if not more – listening. Monitor event conversations beyond the official hashtag to find industry influencers you might not have otherwise encountered. Connections forged during an event can serve you weeks, months, and even years after the show, so be diligent with your follow-up.
Paid Media Pool
While it may be comfortable to stay docked in familiar waters, it’s important to venture out to reach new audiences. Commandeer a variety of paid media spaces and claim the spoils of your conquest through valuable ROI.
Press release distribution provides an easy way to reach formerly elusive audience segments and is an ideal vessel to carry a press kit call-to-action. Don’t sell yourself short here: if you’re exhibiting at a show, you have a story to share.
Online and mobile ads can be incredibly successful in generating buzz around your brand and driving traffic back to a link of your choice, such as the press kit URL. Digital targeting options abound so make sure you’re taking full advantage of them and really reaching the right audiences.
Don’t overlook paid opportunities recommended by the event. Many shows offer official vendor partnerships that can connect you with everything from email campaigns to photography and videography services, often at a substantial discount. Keep an eye out for opportunities in your exhibitor packet, on the show’s website, or during pre-show informational webinars hosted by the organizer. If you’re not sure about your choices, reach out to your event contact.
Earned Media Estuary
In previous event marketing articles, we’ve discussed how easy it is to get distracted by the siren song of flashy booth design and trade show glitz and glamour. While these are very important aspects to consider, remember the reason for exhibiting at a trade show: To build profitable relationships.
Journalists, bloggers and other influencers can provide invaluable visibility for your company’s message when they share it with their followers — even if they don’t publish a story about it. Because of this, your event crew must have all hands on deck, ready for earned media opportunities.
Consider supplementing your own media outreach list by asking the event organizer if they’re willing to share their registered media list with you. It’s important to note that some events keep this information private. If your organizer does provide it ahead of the event, research the contacts on the list to identify which ones would be the most relevant recipient of your news pitch. And don’t forget to make journalists’ jobs easier by providing the information they need in your press kit.
Online press kits are as easy to share in person, as on digital channels. Talking to a journalist or prospective buyer who wants more information to look over later? Ask them for their email address and immediately send the press kit right to their inbox. Or take it one step further and include a short link to your press kit on your business cards. If the business cards are printed before the press kit link is available, a quick and inexpensive solution is to get the link printed on small adhesive labels that can be applied to one side of the card.
Participate in pre-show press days and other media events. Some trade shows offer early admission to journalists, bloggers and influencers so that exhibitors can demo their products in hopes of media coverage that will draw other attendees to their booth. Other opportunities provided by trade show organizers can include mentions on their exhibitor page, press room, and partnering with media sponsors.
Thanks to paid, earned, social and owned media, trade show marketing is much more sophisticated than putting your message in a bottle, casting it out to sea, and hoping for a miracle. But to determine which combination of marketing channels will make the biggest impact, you need to take stock of your channels’ performance data.
Download PR & Demand Generation: PR’s Big Data Opportunity to see how analytics can help you successfully navigate your marketing channels with press kit link in tow.
Erienne Muldoon 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 event goals through news distribution and online press kit creation.
1 Comments on Blog Post Title
Some excellent points here. It’s so important for people to know how to get their event press kit out to as many people as possible. Thanks for sharing this!