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Get Media Coverage for Your Exhibitors, Part 1

Posted by Pak on 3/1/2011 to Show Planner
Get Media Coverage for  Your Exhibitors, Part 1

Good media coverage multiplies the marketing efforts of any  company, can give them exposure that only the largest companies can  afford and keep them exhibiting year after year.  On 3/4/11, the IAEE Southwest Chapter held a panel discussion with staff from NAMM (National Association  of Music Merchants, 90,000 attendees in 2011), their communications firm The Lippin Group, and a veteran videographer / producer.  Here are some of their tips for successfully courting the media and delivering valuable exposure for exhibitors.

Before the Show

  1. Hold a media teleconference a week before  the show. It could be simple - the association president or CEO speaks for 15 minutes about where the industry is  going, then open it for Q&A.  It  draws on the media’s instinct to get a head start over competing media  outlets.  It also provides excellent  feedback on what stories the media is looking for.

  2. Have a media preview day one day before the  exhibit floor opens.  No company  executive wants to make a tradeoff between speaking to an important customer /  prospect versus speaking to the press.   Neither may come back.  A preview  day allows exhibitors to give their full attention to media and put their best  foot forward.   Just be sure your press / media center staff is ready to pitch different ideas when the media arrives.

  3. Provide a short, compelling pitch.  Tell the media what is exciting, not the  small, incremental developments.  If the  pitch is by email, the subject line is the most important or they won’t open  it.  The pitch itself needs to fit into a  30 second (or shorter) sound bite by phone or the equivalent length in the  email.  Give facts and don’t try to sell  hype.  Media is still a fact-based business.

  4. Try to get exhibitors to release exclusive  news at the show.  Companies tend to  want to announce news on their own schedule.   By holding news for the show, all but the largest companies can get a  lot more media attention than if they announced something at any other time.

  5. Give the media simple, solid logistics.  Convention centers are huge and  confusing.  Before the show, give them a  map of exactly where to go.  Have a  person there to meet them and to call if they have questions.  To give your media VIP treatment (and  especially if they expect it), arrange for a parking space right near where  they need to go.

  6. Leverage your PR firm's resources to:
    1. Bring  in media relationships that you not have
    2. Tell  you what each reporter likes and dislikes writing about, how to reach them, and  any personal information that will help you work with them
    3. Screen  out fake media.  At best, they can be a  nuisance.  At worst, they can cause  embarrassment or do real damage to exhibitors or the show.

  7. Know who is coming.  TV, print, and Internet media all have  different needs.  TV, for example, needs  an exciting location and backdrop, the right lighting, good audio, and if it's  live, much more in logistics.  Print may  want in-depth stories, including access to some of the speakers.  Ask them ahead of time what they’ll need, and  be ready with it.

We'd like to add two more ideas of our own:

  1. Provide a free  media training call for exhibitors a few months before the show. In most industries, the medium and small companies often have no  idea how to utilize the media. Help all your exhibitors get media ready by having your communications director  and/or PR firm talk about some of the media they expect at the show.  Give examples of some of the stories they  tend to look for.  Then open it up for  Q&A.  Ask your PR firm if they want  to offer exhibitors a “show special”, a low cost, one-on-one call to talk about  their company specifically.

  2. Preview the  exhibitors.   Ask them what they’ll be highlighting if asked by the media.  Provide feedback and suggestions on ways to improve their story.  This is a great way  to prepare a “short list” of exhibitors to recommend to media during the show

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Phil Date 5/17/2011 2:20:00 PM
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 Show Planner

 Get Media Coverage for Your Exhibitors, Part 2
 Get Media Coverage for Your Exhibitors, Part 1

 April 2011
 March 2011