This blog is part of our series Event Publicity: The Gold Standard.

For a FREE DOWNLOAD of our full guide, with handy checklists to keep you on track and space to scribble down your creative thoughts, please email [email protected]

Trade shows and exhibitions are still one of the most effective ways for your company to network with customers, prospects and media, strengthening your presence in the market place. It can also be one of your most expensive marketing investments, therefore the pressure is on to get the most out of it.

Having a clearly defined media engagement strategy is all well and good, but with a thousand other things to do – where do you start?

Here’s our guide to what you should be checking off your To Do list in the weeks leading up to the big event.

With 10 weeks to go…

Craft your big media story – you may have identified what this is already. And, you may have more than one. If you’re struggling, think about:

Identify new products, services or technologies: make sure you focus on what problem you’re trying to solve. By doing so, you will generate far greater interest with journalists.

Client news: Large, unusual or unexpected contract wins all make good news headlines.

Identify Trends: Identify Emerging or surprising market trends that your experts could comment on.

Stuck for ideas? Have a chat with your Accounts team to see who you’re invoicing – every invoice represents a potential customer story!

With 8 weeks to go…

Found the Story now write the Press Release – see our blog on How to write an impactful Press Release

With 6 weeks to go…

Pick your spokespeople. They need to be authoritative as they are communicating on behalf of the company. If they are new to facing the media of would like a refresher then think about investing in a half day bespoke media training workshop.

If there’s no time or budget, then here’s our quick 10 step guide to handling press interviews.

One week to go….

With your event just around the corner, now is the time to get busy.

Engage with Influencers: Send an email or pick up the phone to your target list of Editors and invite them to meet for a coffee or to come to your stand for an interview with your subject matter experts….then schedule your time to follow this up.

Images Are Powerful: Email the official event photographer and find out when he/she is available to come and photograph your stand – maybe you’ve got a contract signing or an ‘official’ launch you want to capture for future publicity.

Be Proactive: Check in with the Show Daily and find out if you can help them with any of their stories, offer subject matter experts for interview.

Have your press pack printed and ready:  Check it has everything journalists will need to know including your contact details, company information, why you’re exhibiting and why it matters to the press, good quality images of your spokespeople, your products etc and your news.

Social media: Social is a great way to connect with key people at your event, so ensure you keep tabs on your social feeds throughout the day. Be organised too.  Draft some tweets/LinkedIn posts ahead of schedule. You’ll need at least three throughout day – a mix of scheduled and spontaneous – and make sure you include the event hashtag in every update.

If you need any help with your Event PR, get in touch with us on [email protected]