I love attending pet trade shows. I see old friends, make new ones, and see all kinds of incredible products. I always leave feeling so happy and fortunate to be part of this industry.
I attend these events for two reasons: in a PR role and as a member of the media. In my PR role, I go to support my clients and make sure editors and writers know about the cool stuff they are working on.
Then I remove that hat and, putting on my reporter’s shoes, I hoof around the expo meeting with other PR folks, checking out booths and compiling what I consider to be cool, useful products that consumers need to know about.
In working on these compilations, I noticed a few areas in which pet companies can do better if they want press coverage at events. With everything moving in real time, having info and materials at the show is critical. So be prepared! Do the following things and you’ll increase your chances of media coverage at trade shows by a gajillion percent:
1. Have Photos On Site– Have photos readily available on a flash drive AT YOUR BOOTH. This makes it very easy for media to use in round ups.
2. Have Important Info At Your Fingertips – While you’re at it, include a press release with pertinent information about your products and company on your flash drive. Again, the easier you can make it on your media friends, the better. And the more likely you’ll get covered.
3. Invest in the New Product Showcase – If you have a new product, put it in the new product showcase, which is a must-see for all media. If you want coverage, spend some extra bones and get yourself in there.
4. Utilize the Press Room – Put info in the press room. It’s easy and it’s free and media folks do pick up materials.
5. Give Your Booth People a Heads’ Up – Let your booth people know to be helpful when someone from the “press” comes by. I know many companies send their sales people to the trade shows, which is fine. Give them a press kit to hand to media when they happen by.
At these shows, most booth representatives are super friendly and helpful but, sadly, a few were not. If info is hard to get, no matter how cool the product, the media is going to move on to the next company.
And, by the way, don’t forget to appreciate your PR people! If you have a PR firm that sets you up with appointments and compiles materials for you – it’s worth every daggone penny you spend. They’re giving you a huge advantage in the marketplace.