How to get the most value from your industry exhibitions – Pt 1

October 22, 2012

In the first part of this blog, Marcel Kay, Pinnacle Marketing’s latest recruit who has worked in PR and Marketing both in-house and agency side, looks at how to combine traditional outbound marketing at exhibitions with some inbound digital techniques to increase the level of business enquiries and maximise your ROI.

Amazon’s new TV advertising campaign boasts that ‘Connecting your mouse to your front door was our moon landing…. What once seemed wildly impractical is now completely normal. And normal just begs to be messed with…’

So, how does your company mix its traditional marketing with some radical approaches to mess with the normal? How do you get the traditional trade show or exhibition that your company does every year to combine with your social media campaign and get footfall, not simply on your trade stand this year, but to your website, blog, LinkedIn or Facebook page and then to your CRM system for follow up by the sales team?  With this year’s Electronica approaching fast just how do you get yourself noticed and make sure the media pick up on your innovations ahead of anyone else out there?

Representing clients at Electronica this year, Pinnacle Marketing believe it’s all about relationships. For us, the weeks up to a major trade show are spent calling trade magazines, blog sites, onlines and business publications and getting to know the journalists and editors. We find out what they are looking to write about this year, what inside information they have on the industry and where they’ll be spending their time while at the trade show.  Often they’ll have preview features specifically on the trade show and your company needs to be in there. Similarly, the exhibition organisers themselves often publish a trade exhibition magazine that goes out a month or so before as a preview and will also produce a ‘show daily’ magazine. Make sure as a paying exhibitor you’re in these. From establishing relationships with the media you’ll have a much better chance of getting them to write about your company or its products and services in the places that matter.

Everyone thinks Public Relations is all about press releases, but how many people can really write a good one and consider its real purpose and how to get it out digitally. A press release is all about breaking news. It’s not about version 2.3.4.2.1 of the product that you first rolled out six months ago. Tell them what’s different about the product and why it will change lives or the industry you are in. Get it out no more than 24 hours before the first day of the exhibition, and remember to include your essential keywords.  Get it to the media that will be at the exhibition and give them a reason to come and speak to you… and have a spokesperson ready at the exhibition to talk to them when they do come on your stand. Use free or low cost digital distribution channels like http://www.pressreleasepoint.com or http://www.24-7pressrelease.com to get it to news sites. You don’t always need to spend a lot for newswire distribution. Backlinks from high traffic authority news sites will increase your performance in the search engines for your chosen keywords. News sites tend to rank quite well for their press releases, so with effective SEO, you could well achieve numerous first page rankings in search engines like Google even if only for a short period while the exhibition is on. The news sites also run RSS feeds, which add even more exposure for your press release.

 


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