Friday, 17 September 2010

Make an exhibition of yourself with the media

The exhibition and conference season is still in full swing and here at MCC International we have followed our clients from Olympia to the NEC and all points in between. This week it was Transec and next week it is off to Call Centre Expo. As PR agency we support all of our clients to get the best press coverage from the tradeshows they attend, and we also run the press offices for a number of conferences and exhibitions throughout the year, so we see things from both sides of the fence.

It is important for our PR teams to make the annual pilgrimages to trade events, as they are great places to learn about the latest technologies entering the market, to hear from end user organisations about the issues that affect their purchasing decisions, and also to support our clients who often work round the clock to put on a great show.

Finally and perhaps most importantly these events represent a great opportunity to build new friendships and entrench existing relationships with the media, whether during a much-needed sit down and a coffee away from the busy thoroughfares, a whistle stop product demonstration on the stand, or a short piece to camera.

However, it is important to remember that building longstanding press relations takes time and effort. Other than when they are on deadline the press are never busier than when they are covering an exhibition. They will have often received hundreds of requests to meet vendors on their respective stands in the weeks and months prior to the event, so if they have accepted your invitation then make sure you make it worth their while and do your best to stand out from the crowd.

However, remember that by the time the exhibition closes its doors on the final day their notepad (or increasingly popular in journalist circles, the iPad) will be full to bursting with short-hand, diagrams and contact details, of which your announcement will be just one. So, as well as during your exhibition calendar take time to meet with your key journalists face-to-face at other times of year, whether as part of a press tour or a more informal lunch, when you can be sure to have their undivided attention for a longer period of time.

Good luck at your next tradeshow.
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