Using the Media Effectively Part 2 of 3

The media has the power to influence your trade show efforts whether it is in television, radio, or print. Your job is to target your endeavors to create a positive company image and brand awareness of your products and services. How do you do that? Part One of this three-part series outlined strategies planners could employ during the pre-event period. In Part Two, we explore six techniques for using the media to help maximize your trade show effort while you are on site.

*Keep the press office well stocked with your exhibitors' press kits. Also, encourage your exhibitors to keep press kits in their booths.

*Stress to your exhibitors the importance of having a media spokesperson in their booths at all times, even over the lunch hour. Someone should always be prepared to explain your product and its importance in easy-to-understand, nontechnical terms.

*Use the show daily to keep abreast of newsworthy information coming from the show floor. This can be extremely helpful to reporters looking for story ideas.

*Help your exhibitors heighten their visibility and create positive publicity by matching them up with sponsorship opportunities. Various media covering the event may automatically include sponsors' names and/or photos, which can often generate coverage that might otherwise not be available.

*Offer exhibitors opportunities to conduct presentations, seminars, or workshops. As speakers, they are perceived as industry experts. However, this must be managed judiciously to ensure that the content does not devolve into marketing pitches.

*Encourage exhibitors to use newsletters, special reports, audio cassettes, books/booklets, or computer discs/CDs as effective giveaways. These have a high perceived value and are more likely to be kept. Make sure they contain valuable industry-related information.

Susan A. Friedmann, CSP, known as the Trade Show Coach, is the author of Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies. She works with companies to improve their meeting and event success through coaching, consulting, and training. Go to www.thetradeshowcoach.com to sign up for a free copy of ExhibitSmart Tips of the Week.