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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anytime of year is appropriate to critically view your company’s positioning and messaging. Given the business cycle of working on strategic plans in the fall, now is a particularly good time to consider the value of Fetching Communications’ Messaging Workshops. Planning any element of your business is a process, and not a one-time event. This workshop produces a list of messages, and then a priority view of the messages deemed most relevant to your business right now. These priority messages are then woven into all of your communications materials, including the content on your website, your social media posts, your public relations outreach and pitches, as well as brochures, tradeshow marketing pieces, and any other tool you use to communicate with internal and external audiences.
Messaging Workshops are conducted in a group conference call setting, and are facilitated by Fetching Communications’ CEO Liz Lindley. The invitation to participate is sent to key staff in your pet business or veterinary specialty practice who are asked to set aside a few hours of uninterrupted time for the workshop. That’s right, no email, skype, text, or phone calls. During the workshop, the group is guided through a series of prompts and questions, encouraging everyone to offer ideas and discuss specific challenges facing your business. The call is confidential and candid, and notes are taken and organized. It is not a full SWOT analysis because the workshop generally focuses on a single product or service line rather than the entire business as a whole.
To find out how Liz can facilitate a Messaging Workshop for your business, contact email@example.com or call 877-703-3824 x 105.
Story Development Workshops
What kinds of stories are you sharing with the media? Are your story concepts generating media interest? Or falling flat, but you are not sure why? Fetching Communications offers Story Development Workshops for pet and veterinary businesses who want to gain control over their story ideas and media pitches. Through a group conference call setting, Liz Lindley facilitates a meeting to narrow down your core message, identify your target audiences, refine the core message for each audience, and develop priority story concepts to best exemplify your business and its strengths.
The deliverable – in the form of a list of messages, target audiences, and story concepts – comes quickly after the workshop, and readies you for a public relations campaign to boost your visibility. To find out how Liz can facilitate a Story Development Workshop for your business, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-703-3824 x 105.
Perhaps your company is one of the pet and veterinary businesses that successfully exhibited at this summer’s tradeshows. Your teams have now returned to their offices with new leads and sales, helpful customer feedback, booth photos, and maybe even a few awards. The next trade show is months away, but to maintain the momentum you just built, here are six PR tools to use between tradeshows.
- Distribute a Press Release
There are a lot of news triggers that happen after a tradeshow ends. See if any of these ideas might work for your business:
- Award won at the tradeshow
- Availability of new product line demonstrated at tradeshow
- Top industry trends identified by company executive who spoke at the tradeshow
- Post photos on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest
If your team took pictures at the show, post them with captions on your social media platforms. These might include:
- Your team at the booth, demonstrating your new product line
- Your company receiving a tradeshow award or recognition
- Team members engaging with other tradeshow attendees
- Audit your website
Web traffic often spikes after a tradeshow, so make sure your site is current and up-to-date.
- If your company launched new products at the tradeshow, does your website accurately reflect everything that is new?
- If not, now is a perfect time to audit your website and update the content on product pages.
- Add a Newsroom tab to your website’s navigation, and populate it with your new press release along with an email and phone number for media outlets to use for product samples or interview requests.
- Develop a new Press Kit
If your company’s Press Kit is out of date, update it with these documents:
- New press release, with a post-show topic
- New product information sheet, with current links and images
- New FAQ, based on customer feedback at the show
- Comment on a trend
Follow the industry’s trade publications and think about ways you can add to the post-show conversation.
- Do you have an opinion about an industry trend that could be newsworthy to a trade publication editor?
- Speak to your PR team and determine if your comments are newsworthy enough to support a pitch to be included in post-show stories.
- Plan PR and marketing for the next tradeshow
You may have just broken down the booth and packed the boxes, but more tradeshows are ahead. Start preparing now by:
- Getting organized with deadlines for exhibit reservations and submissions due to conference organizers.
- Do a “lessons learned” on the prior tradeshow. Which tactics were most successful? Did you take advantage of all of the marketing tools available, including social media posts, direct mail invitations prior to the show, publicity while at the show?
One of Fetching Communications’ specialties is helping pet and veterinary businesses prepare for tradeshows. But our philosophy about public relations is that every tactic can support another tactic, meaning that we maximize the value of every opportunity to promote your business. A post-show press release can promote messaging that can also be added to your website, or as posts on social media, or as a pitch to earn editorial coverage.
We would love to help you navigate the PR possibilities in between tradeshows, and invite you to have a complimentary consultation and marketing needs analysis. Just reach out to Liz Lindley, CEO of Fetching Communications & PetPR.com, at email@example.com or 877-703-3824 x105. Or please complete the Marketing Needs Analysis online, here.