Trade shows, conferences and industry events present unique opportunities for PR professionals for several reasons. You have the opportunity to learn more about your client’s sector and the major players in their market, join a panel or two and hear some insights from key figures in the industry and meet the media you’ve been diligently working with. The best part of it all is being able to see your clients interact with their customers and demonstrate their news products.
Our trade show guru, Doug Wright, shares his thoughts on the five best practices to tackling a trade show or conference successfully:
- Listen and learn. Take note of the questions asked at your client’s booth, as well as the answers. This will educate you and help you become more conversant in your future presentations to editors.
- Organization is key. Keep your head in the game for the duration of the show. Keep track of all press appointments and make sure they meet your client and see their most important offerings at the show.
- Stay motivated. While it is a long time to be on your feet and your body starts to complain (foot and back pain), keep in mind that everybody is in the same boat and that the show is not only important to your client, but very expensive. Time is literally money to the tune of thousands of dollars per hour. The client will be watching and evaluating what worked at this show, as well as what did not. You do not want to be one of those things that did not work because of a lackluster performance.
- Nurture your relationship. Have fun with your client at the show—on the floor and off. A great part of trade shows is the ability to build a relationship with your client. While work obviously comes first, take this time to learn more about your client and have them learn about you. Nobody wants to work with an automaton.
- Be focused. Perform due diligence in show related activity. There is a lot going on and you need to own your part. There will not be a lot of sympathy given to those who miss a key step in the trade show effort because they got busy and forgot.