media shakes hand at trade show

Success Onsite: How to Engage Media at Trade Shows

media shakes hand at trade showSo you’re going to a trade show – great! Shows and conferences are some of the best opportunities available to step out from behind the phone or computer and meet with contacts face-to-face. And aside from customers and collaborative partners, shows also provide one of the most critical opportunities to meet and build relationships with trade media. Here are five tips to rock media relations at your next trade show.

Have a Hook or Angle.

As you can probably imagine based on your own hectic show schedule, media are inundated with requests to meet. Often times, they’re booked out a month before the show even begins. That means you need to have a hook to get their attention – and you need to have it early. Decide on your news for the show and get the word out ASAP.

Get Ahead of the Game.

Think about what materials may help steer your conversation. Having a solid press kit in your back pocket will help you prepare your story. Not only should it have press releases and supporting imagery, but there are many other creative materials that can be relevant too. Think about case studies, infographics, and even gear or product guides that you can flip through at the booth.

Have a Plan and a Spokesperson.

Prior to meeting with media contacts, make sure you have a plan and briefing book. Do your research to see what upcoming issues will cover, what they tend to write about and who their publication reaches. Tailor your conversation to each individual contact – and make sure you don’t waste their time with irrelevant information. And, be sure to match them with the appropriate spokesperson for their beat. For example, a technical editor may be best paired with an engineer; someone who is looking to cover trends may be best with a marketing director.

Identify Their Needs.

While most media are looking to write about the latest and greatest new advancements at the show, it never hurts to ask what they’re looking to cover – you may be surprised. They could be working on a particular story that is relevant to the show, but not just new product focused.

Don’t Stop at the Trade Show.

While you’re conversing with media, make sure to make notes of what to follow up on – and don’t just stop at the show. Send a follow-up note to keep the conversation going, along with a full press kit they can reference to jog their memory.

There are so many ways to knock media relations out of the park at shows, but they require upfront strategic planning. Interested in discussing how to better engage media and enhance your ROI at trade shows? Contact me at