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The Tradeshow Booth Briefing Two-step

The Tradeshow Booth Briefing Two-step

By: Bob Geller, SVP, Fusion PR

It is beneficial when the people we want to engage, take the time to explain in detail how to do this better.

On that note, I just thought I would call out an article in ClickZ, Marketing to the Media, by Rebecca Lieb.

She offers advice to PR people and companies who approach the ClickZ editorial staff to schedule briefings at tradeshows. Her article was prompted by their experiences in being pitched for the upcoming ad tech show.

Rebecca said:

These days, the interactive marketing calendar is littered with more trade shows than you can shake a USB stick at. There are good ways, and very bad ways, to go about getting media coverage out of these things, an issue that comes to the fore about this time every year.

Rebecca lists common sense advice, such as briefing and sharing embargoed releases in advance of the show, respecting the journalist’s time, being relevant and targeted (avoid “batch and blast” pitches) staying in touch outside of show cycles, etc.

She concludes:

The right message to the right person at the right time. It applies to media relations, too.

I’d like to add a point or two here. I have always looked upon pitching booth briefings as the last refuge of the unimaginative – kind of like the “Jerry Springer Show” of PR. Everyone pitches like mad, against the clock to get on the dance cards of attending media and analysts, while the news value of the cards we hold varies widely. I don’t blame journalists like Rebecca, who say they need to take evasive tactics like registering late in the game.

Sure, some shows have symbolic value – if you have important news, the industry and world are watching during the highest profile shows and of course it makes sense to engage the media and announce at the show.

But it is not just about news. There is no better place than a show to stage a compelling demo that educates and has impact for in-person attendees like the media. Having said that, most reporters are coming to the show to cover the news of the show.

In most cases – unless you are a large vendor breaking important news that affects the industry, or a smaller vendor with something that is truly disruptive – it makes good sense to consider announcing your news outside the rough and tumble noise of a show.

  • Bennett Baruch

    April 14, 2008 at 1:48 pm Reply

    As noted in previous posts/comments – it is imperative for ‘professionals’ to do their homework, not skip over the necessary background research, to strategically pinpoint contacts/outlets re: industry shows. We as PR professional should only empathize with receiving unwarranted spam.

  • Rebecca

    April 14, 2008 at 2:40 pm Reply

    thanks so much for helping to pass the message on, Bennett!

    – Rebecca

  • Karto

    September 10, 2008 at 1:20 pm Reply

    I thought I’d share the following online resource on trade shows — that includes information on how to work with the media and garner publicity at a show.

    The site is http://www.trade-show-advisor.com and it features the “how to’s” of trade show success from planning and selection to booth design, marketing, promotional items, etc.

    There’s lots of good strategies and tips to maximize revenue from show participation — and exposure for future sales opportunities.

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