Most companies consider tradeshows a great opportunity to meet potential prospects and reconnect with current customers. While this is true, tradeshows also draw another audience that you shouldn’t overlook—key media outlets and bloggers.
Follow these tips to schedule face-to-face media appointments at your next show:
- Make a plan.
- If your company is exhibiting, most tradeshows provide exhibitors a pre-registered press list. Refer to your exhibitor manual for the person to contact about the list.
- If your company isn’t exhibiting, then research which, if any, publications are sponsoring the show and reach out to them for an appointment. If no publications are sponsoring the show, then reach out to any key media on your list and inquire if they are attending.
- Start early. Pick the top publications and bloggers you’d like to meet with, and focus your efforts on them. Ideally, you should start media and blogger outreach three to four weeks in advance of your tradeshow. If you wait until the show is two weeks out, you may find most media calendars are booked. In your outreach, suggest a couple meeting locations, such as your booth, the press room, or a concession area.
- Be respectful. Many times bloggers, and sometimes editors, will provide tradeshows their cell phones. Only reach out to someone’s cell phone if it is critical you reach that person. Otherwise, limit your outreach to email and office phones.
- Be realistic. Just like you, editors, reporters, and bloggers want to meet with a number of people while at the show. That means they may only have, at most, 30 minutes to meet with you.
- Be prepared. Do your research on who your executives will be meeting with. Find out what beats they cover, as well as what they most recently wrote about. Also prepare a few talking points that you can comfortably discuss in 30 minutes. Be sure to allow enough time for the reporter/blogger to ask questions.
- Confirmations. Two to three days before the show, reach out to every appointment you’ve scheduled and make sure you know when and where you are meeting. Always have everyone’s cell phones in case people are running late.
- Follow up. Your job doesn’t end once the tradeshow is over. Be sure to follow-up with everyone you met with, preferably within five business days of the end of the show. Thank them for meeting with your executive, provide any additional information they requested, and offer to be a resource for them in the future.