Wednesday, 23 of April of 2014

Missed Connections on the Trade Show Floor

I attended a trade show recently to orchestrate a client’s on-site PR operation. The Propheta team managed to schedule three client interviews and – while on-site – a staff member and I each orchestrated another in-person reporter briefing by walking the floor and strategically stalking the events’ press room.

As we were walking a reporter across the expo floor to our client’s booth, I wondered if the trade show attendees realized the opportunity that literally passed them by. Most entrepreneurs fail to realize that dozens (if not scores) of key industry reporters attend trade shows. While their sales staff and CEO stand dutifully in their booth, key reporters walk by with nary a glance at their product or service.

Why does this happen? It’s simple: one of your competitors who attended the trade show employed a competent PR team to leverage the show’s media list, capitalize on local media and orchestrate news coverage.

Trade shows can be expensive to attend; but coming back with two or three pending stories in the right media outlets certainly helps justify your costs. Yet, few attendees bother to leverage the public relations opportunities presented by a well-run trade show.

There’s an art to trade show PR. It involves planning, aggressive outreach, a little creativity and – if you can afford it – boots on the trade show floor pursuing reporters.

Today I’m reviewing coverage that stemmed from the trade show. Our client was one of the smart ones and they have several stories written or pending to prove it. Yet, there were dozens of other great business stories from that expo floor that will never be written. So many attendees failed to consider the PR opportunities.

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