Missed Media Opportunities: Industry Trade Shows

Mary Sawyer
Vice President of Public Relations

Missed Media Opportunities: Industry Trade Shows

Think about it: Doesn’t it make sense to make an effort to educate media similarly to the way you’d educate a prospective customer?

Industry trade shows offer the opportunity for companies to demo their latest and greatest products and personally interact with thousands of customers and prospective customers. However, they are a major investment in terms of time and resources, so you definitely want to take full advantage of any reasonable chance to promote your business.

We often see companies miss a very good opportunity that costs them very little extra in terms of time and money: They forget about media opportunities. Some do consider media, but they put time and money into a very minimal effort and just a small piece of the puzzle such as assemble product information in a document, call it a press release and assume that media will understand and appreciate its significance.

I get it…with the logistics of producing, shipping and assembling the booth, equipment and handouts, booking flights and hotel rooms, scheduling work shifts and meeting with clients, there often isn’t much time left to think about media. Having worked dozens of industry trade shows on behalf of clients, I can guarantee that having a trade show media relations strategy definitely pays off.

Influential reporters, editors, publishers, bloggers, advertising representatives and analysts all attend these trade shows. They appreciate the time and effort you take to help them learn aspects of the industry that are important to their audiences. You may or may not get immediate media coverage, but the payoff can go far beyond the walls and the timeframe of the show.

As media become more aware of you, and you hear about upcoming topics to be covered, you’re building good relationships and becoming well positioned for future coverage. You have to have an organized approach, though, and work the show. There is a lot of competition for media time.

How We Do It

We find out which media is attending and reach out to targeted individuals ahead of time. Then we explain why a meeting is worthwhile and we coordinate appointments. Of course, we make certain that the person they are meeting is prepared with key messages and a media kit that has news and relevant materials.

We run interference if the company spokesperson is tied up with a customer. We track people down if there are miscommunications or if there are individuals who have not responded. Most importantly, after the meetings we follow up to ensure that no opportunities slip away.

Don’t let media walk right by your booth on their way to hear some other company’s product news. 
As you go over your planning checklist for your next big show, ask yourself if you are maximizing your potential for getting media coverage.

If not, let’s talk about it. Fill out the form below and we can set up a conversation.

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Top G/L Tips: Mary Sawyer on Trade Shows

Mary Sawyer
Vice President of Public Relations

Top G/L Tips: Mary Sawyer on Trade Shows

A Trade Show PR program is a terrific way to generate buzz beyond your booth that extends long past the trade show. And the best part: PR costs very little extra in terms of time and money!

Here are a few tips on how to make it happen. Mary Sawyer, VP of PR at Geile/Leon, shares what she has learned from years of experience helping clients maximize their trade show results.

Are you planning your next big show and looking for new ideas? Mary would love to hear about your plans and offer a few suggestions. Contact her by phone at 314-727-5850, ext 116, email at [email protected] or use the form below.

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Trade Shows: Hard On the Feet, Good for Business

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Trade Shows: Hard On the Feet, Good for Business

Sixty-nine percent of contractors recently surveyed said they learn about new products at trends by attending trade shows.

A few months ago, Geile/Leon conducted this survey among home improvement/remodeling professionals, the results of which were published in our white paper, A Special Report For Home Improvement Product Manufacturers: The Big Payoff Awaits Those Who Invest In Their Contractors’ Businesses.  


Our research concluded that manufacturers—at least those in the home improvement/remodeling sector — who invest time and resources in their customers’ (professional contractors) businesses through marketing assistance, can reap major benefits.

The survey of hundreds of home improvement professionals revealed several interesting trends. One noteworthy nugget came from the responses to our question, “How do you learn about new products or tools?”

That 69% response to the question was a bit of a surprise. After all, we are still doing business in a stagnant economy, and because of that you might think many companies could justify cutting trade show expenses.

Apparently not.

According to the Center for Exhibition Research, trade show attendance is growing and is expected to continue to do so through 2015.

Make no mistake: exhibiting at trade shows can be expensive. Staffing a booth is hard work, and walking the show floor is hard on your feet and back.

But from a strictly cost-benefit perspective, investing in a trade show booth still delivers benefits. Think about this: trade shows are the only marketing medium where people actually pay to come see you. And these face-to-face interactions offer tremendous opportunities to build relationships with customers and vendors, and to generate leads.  Trade shows are also a great place for PR folks like me to interact with industry media, eager to write about what’s new in the industry.

I can personally attest to the popularity of trade shows for both exhibitors and attendees.  In January, I attended the AHR Expo in New York City on behalf of a client. This show is billed as the World’s Largest HVACR (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) Marketplace.

But three hours before the expo floor was to open on day one, it began to snow — and snow hard. In fact, nearly a foot of snow fell that day, as temperatures plummeted and winds gusted to 40 mph. Again, this is Manhattan we’re talking about — the heart of the nation’s most populous city.

But despite the snow, wind, cold and general inconvenience of it all, more than 43,000 visitors and 18,000 exhibitor personnel flocked to the Javits Convention Center. This was the highest registered attendance in the history of the exposition.

Getting to the convention center was a challenge, and leaving was an even greater one.

But it didn’t matter to those who came to do business, and that includes the industry writers and editors who covered the show, several of whom I persuaded to come by our client’s booth for a peak at a new product, and a brief interview with the marketing staff.

Despite the weather, everyone who exhibited or attended this trade show realized the positive ROI from being there. This is WHY they made the effort and investment.

To learn more about how we can help you maximize ROI from trade shows, just give us a shout.