How to Strategize for Trade Shows

How Owners, CEOs, Marketing Managers, PR Directors, and Sales Teams use Strategy to Succeed at Trade Shows

We are getting many inquiries about the trade shows – the Aquatic Experience, NY VET, VMX 2018, WVC, GPE 2018, SuperZoo. For those of you working on booth events, product demonstrations, presentations and meetings, we’d like to ask you to take a moment and read this blog, because we want to talk to you about strategy. The word strategy is loaded, right? It implies days of planning, long meetings in windowless conference rooms, a Plan that goes through a dozen rounds of edits, and ultimately you feel you’ve put in a whole lot of time for … well, for what?

At FWV Fetching, we have heard about strategy sessions that still haunt people, but our approach to how to know your strategy and how to make it work for you, is different. It’s direct, efficient, and most of all…useful.

Read on and see if this approach to strategy matches your particular needs. Because manning a booth at a trade show is not the same thing as strategically doing a trade show. And with the investment you’re making in a booth, along with the competition you’ll see in the exhibit hall, it pays to have a strategy.
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Expert Guidance: Consider the benefit of having an objective industry expert listen to your business goals, and appreciate your bottom line. Throughout the year we help businesses launch products and services at the pet and veterinary tradeshows. We have the ability to hear you and translate your needs into an actionable and strategic trade show plan so that you will reach your target audiences with today’s marketing tools and technologies.

Stand out from the Crowd:  The words you use to position your business, product or service can be the first and only impression a prospect sees. With years of experience managing communications programs for pet product businesses and veterinary services, we will help structure your messages so that you can stand out from the crowd. It’s a cliche saying, but nevertheless, a true requirement for success. You must differentiate your “widget” from everyone else’s. The differentiators must be crystal clear to anyone looking at your website, brochure, booth, or social media content. Our strategic direction will remove any fog around your messaging.

Know Your Audience: We want to know everything about your target market. It can’t really be “the world of pet owners” can it? You can lean on us to help identify who you are talking to, and what they want to hear. Further, our experience with all of today’s publicity tools opens up a number of ways for you to communicate to your audiences. Think of it – posts, digital marketing, web content, video, media placements, bylined articles, and on it goes. Not to mention the technologies that are easy to use to support email outreach, or graphic design needs.

Results, results, results: Why go to a trade show, why bother to exhibit, if you can’t specify your goals? Our work with pet and veterinary businesses around the globe is unique in that, as an agency, we are always asked for metrics and results. Let us help you define those outcomes and then determine how to successfully achieve them.

FWV Fetching works with pet and veterinary businesses as they prepare for trade show exhibits. If you would like a free consultation about your trade show publicity, social media, digital, design and/or marketing needs, or if you just need a press kit written for the trade show’s press room, contact Liz Lindley at llindley@fwv-us.com. Or, complete our brief Marketing Needs Analysis and Liz will contact you right away.

 

How to Talk to the Media at Your Next Pet or Vet Industry Tradeshow

In a previous blog post, we mentioned that tradeshow exhibitors should “be prepared for media.” Let’s take a closer look into this subject, because doing it right can be a great advantage, whereas doing it wrong can cause problems down the road.

Tradeshows give you a wonderful opportunity to meet people who may become future customers, and of course you want to focus on the potential for sales and connections. However, another set of attendees is equally important, and that’s the media. They attend shows to see new products, check in on existing companies, and see what the trends look like for the months ahead.

Journalists come to the shows with packed agendas: meetings they have made in advance with companies and their publicists, lectures they want to attend, events they don’t want to miss.How-to-Talk-to-the-Media-blog-picture

You may have appointments pre-scheduled with particular reporters, and if so, we recommend that you set an alarm on your phone or watch to remind you that the journalist will be at your booth in twenty minutes. That will give you time to wrap up any conversations and prepare for a focused meeting with the journalist. Your plan should be to spend 20-30 minutes with the reporter. Hand the reporter a press kit. Don’t allow for any interruptions, and strike a balance between talking and listening. Give the reporter your direct email and phone number so they can follow up with you after the show with any questions.

Let’s talk for a moment about your press kit. This is a folder or flash drive that typically contains a press release about your exhibit/new products, a frequently asked questions document, and a product information sheet with images. We advise that press kits are developed several weeks prior to the show, that way you have enough time to print copies, and place in folders and on drives. Your publicist will use the press kits in pre-show communications and pitches with media outlets. When you arrive at the show, place the folders and press kits in the press room at the tradeshow for easy access.

And, finally a word on unscheduled media visits to your booth. The worst thing you can do is ask the reporter to come back at another time. Remember, meeting with the media is not only a way for you to position your messaging and products but it is also an important aspect of reputation management. We have assembled a list of tips that will help you when someone with a press badge arrives at your booth. Click here to download the “Be Prepared for Media at a Tradeshow” checklist.

What are your questions about talking to the media at your next tradeshow? Contact Liz Lindley at Liz.Lindley@fetchingcommunications.com for a free tradeshow publicity consultation.

 

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6 Tips for Tradeshow Success

It’s countdown time – your booth space is reserved, hotel reservations confirmed, and your employees are ready to go to the tradeshow to represent your company. You’ve made a significant investment of time, money, and resources.

Maximize that investment with these 6 tips: Write

Start with strategy. In the rush of registering for a booth, take a step back and consider the reasons you are exhibiting at the tradeshow. What do you expect to accomplish? How will you leverage the exposure of having a booth with the show’s attendees? If you start with a strategy and a focus, you are more likely to have a successful outcome at the tradeshow.

Plan PR, social media and marketing. Having a few key messages for all communications at the tradeshow will help you stick to your strategy and achieve your objectives. We recommend weaving these messages into your media outreach, social media and marketing at least one month prior to any tradeshow. For publicity, prepare a press kit in advance of the show that promotes your messaging and differentiates you from similar products or services. For social media, prepare your posts in advance, and engage with your audiences before, during and after the show. Your booth, logo, packaging, brochures, and all other marketing materials should be consistent in their themes, messages, styles and colors.

Consider promotional items. Most exhibitors order all kinds of promotional goodies to hand out to attendees, but the truth is that most attendees will drop the goodies into the trash bins as they leave the show. An alternative solution is to provide attendees with something that reflects your company’s value and messaging. Any giveaway should support your strategy and objectives for the show.

Train your booth staff. Your booth team represents your company, and for the few days of the tradeshow, they will be your ambassadors. We recommend that you train your booth staff beforehand, and provide a briefing packet for their reference during the show. It is also a good idea to conduct a huddle with your booth staff upon arrival and periodically during the show to review your expectations and answer their questions. Download our checklist for training your tradeshow booth staff below.

Be prepared for media. The tradeshow affords the opportunity to meet prospects, generate solid leads, and make sales, but you also need to be prepared for journalists who visit the booth. Be sure that you have press kits available for media to take, with your contact information clearly positioned in the materials. Start a conversation, and offer to speak with the journalist on the spot, or suggest a time later in the day when you can focus on the journalist’s questions without interruption. Remember that the conversation with the media should emphasize your values and messages for that media outlet’s particular audience.

Develop a solid follow-up plan. Most conference attendees leave the show and promptly head for the airport, already thinking about the work week ahead. To stay top-of-mind, we recommend developing a thorough follow-up plan that enables you to connect with leads you met at the show. Your follow up may be by phone, email, postcard, or in-person, and no matter how you do the follow up, it must have a specific call to action. With each follow up task, study the prospect, and be prepared to explain how you can help solve their particular need.

Fetching Communications works with pet and veterinary businesses as they prepare for tradeshow exhibits. If you would like a free consultation about your tradeshow publicity, social media and marketing needs, contact Liz Lindley at liz.lindley@fetchingcommunications.com.

 

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Earned, Owned and Paid Media: What’s the difference?

What is “earned media” and how does it differ from paid or owned media?

Earned media is a term that may be new to many veterinary practices and pet product companies, and sometimes it’s heard right along with Paid Media and Owned Media.  All three types of media can be tactics of a powerful communications campaign, but not all need to be used at the same time.

Here are the definitions:

Earned Media: quotes and features in media outlets including those in print, tv, radio, blogs, online, resulting from an interview or product review or rating that developed as the result of a proactive pitch and/or press release. Also called editorial coverage.

Owned Media: Company website and blog, company Facebook page and other social media pages, branded journals or e-newsletters, brochures, in store retail displays.

Paid Media:  Traditional and digital advertising. Paid search, social media advertisements or boosts, banner ads, sponsorships, direct mail, display, retail/channel, and ads on tv, print, or radio.

Would you like to talk about how these campaigns can be used to grow your business?  Contact Liz at liz.lindley@fetchingcommunications.com or 877 703 3824 x 105.

 

 

Free Tip Sheet for Writing Tradeshow Press Releases

Have you written a press release yet about your pet tradeshow presence?

It’s a hectic time for pet and veterinary businesses around the globe right now, preparing unique exhibit booths for upcoming tradeshows. There are show events to plan, designs to approve, collateral to print, flights to reserve…you name it, and it’s on a long to-do list! 

Where is PR on your to-do list? Have you written a press release to announce where you’ll be in the exhibit hall, and what you’ll show at your booth? No? We get it — and we can help!  Click below for a free tip sheet you can use today to write that release! 

One of Fetching Communications’ public relations specialties is helping pet and veterinary businesses prepare for tradeshows. From a philosophical standpoint, we really love helping businesses that help pets and their people, so we want to help your business succeed and be recognized by the pet and veterinary media. So, set aside an hour or two, and let’s do this!

Follow the eight tips for writing your tradeshow press release, and then submit it for distribution via PetPR.com’s unique news service for the pet industry. Use the promo code HOLIDAY25 to automatically receive 25% off any PetPR.com distribution services you select, with the exception of PR Newswire’s distribution option.

CLICK HERE FOR TIP SHEET.

Contact me personally if you need help! liz.lindley@fetchingcommunications.com.