As the season for exhibitions and conferences is about to start, experienced marketers are putting into place plans to use PR techniques as part of their programme to maximise the ROI they achieve from exhibiting – before, during and particularly after the show.
The reality is that, after investing heavily in exhibiting, even making the show the focal point for marketing and PR campaigns with new product launches, many organisations fail to maintain momentum after the event has ended. Keeping in contact with buyers, keeping up a high profile through the media using PR is essential if the investment in exhibiting will achieve maximum ROI and not be wasted.
Here are seven ways, seven ideas, that exhibitors can apply to make the most of the PR opportunities created by conferences and exhibitions. They are based on the Clareville team’s 30 years of experience working with conference and exhibition organisers and exhibitors.
Before the show
1. Start planning early – at least 3 months before the event
Preview features about the show, exhibitor PR pages on the show website, even the first day’s edition of a Show Daily newspaper all have deadlines or are open for editorial. So it is worth researching these as soon as the stand is booked.
2. Look at the show organiser’s PR advice and forms ASAP – and respond by the deadlines
As part of their exhibitor guides, many organisers include advice on PR opportunities and often request information so they can include exhibitors in their news outputs or media conversations. These could include press conference facilities which will soon be booked at prime times.
At the show
3. Try to set up press meetings well in advance
Attending conference sessions and press briefings, journalists’ diaries at events are very busy – and many also have to write up news and post it online while at the show. So if you want to arrange a press conference or one to one briefing with the CEO, you need to have a good strong genuine news story or insight into market trends and to start planning early.
4. Press packs
Seizing the chance to display press material in the show Press Office is good PR. A single printed news release in a clear folder is sufficient, provided that it features a strong news story, clearly written and well presented in a single page, with links to download copy, background details and photography and contacts for further information. Remember that if you only provide a USB, the journalist cannot read the story without loading and opening it.
5. Visit the media’s own stands at the show
Many of the media who are partners have their own stands at a show so it can be a good idea to visit the stand and deliver a press pack. It also creates an opportunity to meet any writer who may be based there.
After the show
6. A post show campaign
PR is the perfect and a vital way to maximise ROI and to maintain awareness and visibility after the event. A post show campaign of monthly news releases, comments in post event industry articles and market features, proactively created opinion columns about trends and familiarisation trips can continue engagement with buyers and the media.
7. Follow-up with the media
After meeting journalists at the show, it is important to contact them to ask if they need any further information and images for their story. Even if it was a briefing and that no immediate article is likely, it is good to make contact and discuss a date – perhaps three to six months ahead – to continue the conversation.
These are just a few of our tips. We would be happy to tell you more. For more information about our exhibition PR expertise, please click here http://www.clareville.co.uk/london-pr-consultants-knowledge/exhibition-pr/
And you can learn more about our experience working with the conference and meetings sector here http://www.clareville.co.uk/london-pr-consultants-knowledge/meetings-industry-pr/