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Six tips for working with the media at trade shows

For B2B marketers in all sectors, trade shows and exhibitions provide the perfect stage to promote their company’s goods and services to their customers. However, the each event’s stomping ground will also include journalists, editors and reporters, all of whom are looking to get a scoop on the latest product launches and news in your industry.

The savviest exhibitors will want to make sure their own news is included in the news stories and reviews. Because not only do media articles exposure for your products and services to a wide audience, they also increase your company’s reputation and raise its profile.

So, if your business is planning to exhibit at a show in the future, here are six key steps to increase media interest in what you have to say:

1. Find out which media will be attending as soon as you can from the show organisers – usually they’ll make a list available to exhibitors if you ask. Also, compile your own online research by looking for the journalists that have covered the show in the past – and what sort of stories they filed as a result.
2. Work out what your ‘news’ is at the show – are you launching a new product, going into a new sector, attending the show for the first time etc. Then put together some key points around this news that you would like to speak to a journalist about. This is what will encourage them to meet with you. Always remember – it’s their job – they want news so provide them with it.
3. A couple of weeks prior to the show, contact the journalists the list. Be friendly but professional and ask if they would like to either drop by your stand, explain briefly your news based on the point above and ask if they’d like to meet a senior figure in a formal interview setting.
4. Provide basic media training for all of your employees. Don’t fall into the trap of reserving it just for the senior spokespeople of your company; journalists and reporters will talk to anyone to get an angle or a story and may even choose less suspecting, or less prepared employees that may give away more than they should. There are online media training platforms that will make this affordable and efficient, and it will be worth it from a promotional and ‘peace of mind’ point of view.
5. Load all your media information, including news releases, product information, company background, images and profiles for the senior figures onto a USB stick or a download section on your website. Avoid handing out heavy, printed material. The journalist is likely to be travelling far on foot during the day and will not want to be burdened down with brochures etc.
6. Finally, once your meeting is over, contact the journalist or reporter to thank them for their interest. Ask them if they had all of the information they needed. This courtesy call is also a great opportunity to provide your new media contact with timely show information such as sales or visitor figures. Following up in this way will help you sustain a long-term relationship with this particular media representative – ultimately helping you build your business’ profile in the future.

For more information about online media training please visit My Media Academy at

Helen Bailey
My Academy Workshop