Trade shows are a great way of getting out there and meeting your potential clients face to face, in an environment where everyone’s business is to be engaged. The whole of your industry is gathered right there, and they are all open to hearing new ideas.
That’s why it surprises me how many Irish firms don’t take better advantage of the press office and other facilities these shows offer. Most shows have great media resources which are open to all exhibitors – including you – and offer great opportunities for start up to get their name out there. Sure, we have all read about start-ups going to SXSW in a camper van wearing Yam costumes – but most trade shows are somewhat more staid than Austin. Try getting your CFO to dress up with wings and a harp at the European Financial Information Summit 2016…?
No, what I mean is simply using the resources already in place: the media partner, the registered press list, and the show hashtag.
Most trade show have a media partner in place, and as part of their role they will be promoting the show online in the run up to it. They will always be looking for new angles to promote the show to attract attendees and readers to the event. These are always worth contacting, and if your pitch is compelling enough, you can find yourself getting valuable pre show publicity to attract visitors to your stand. You will be well known before the show even opens!
It is also worth checking out which other media are attending the show. This again is simple enough – simply ask! As an exhibitor, you are probably entitled to this list as part of your subscription, so it is certainly worth asking. And when you get it, send those relevant to your technology a quick email – tell them what you’re about and offer to meet with them at the show or offer a preview of your offering. You never know.
Finally, there is the show hashtag. During the show, it is worth periodically tweeting using the show hashtag and attaching any vids of demos, pics of presentations, updates on speaking engagements etc. If you don’t have a company Twitter account, it is worth setting one up for this alone. Many attendees will be checking their feed periodically, so early in the morning and then update it from time to time.
Simple measures, but worth the effort.