If you’ve been to any of the big trade events like ITB or Passenger Terminal Expo, then you’ll know the sheer number of brands that you’ll be competing against to a) get cut through in the media and b) get delegates over to your stand (which is ultimately the end goal).
If you’re attending Future Travel Experience EMEA this month and want to use media to break through the noise, here are five ways to maximise your attendance based on our experience at PTE in Amsterdam in March:
1) Check what’s included in your exhibitor partnership
If you’re an exhibitor, then check out what partnership opportunities you may have within your package to promote your attendance in advance and maximise your time at the event. This could be advertorial articles with media partners, blogs hosted on the event website, and social posts via the event’s platforms. Use these channels to seed messaging about what you want to talk about at the event, whether that’s a new product, partnership, or a campaign launch.
2) Map media partnerships
It is highly likely that the event you’re attending will have a set of publications acting as media partners whose job it is to publicise what’s going on at the exhibition and ramp up hype around it. What this means is that there’ll also be members of the editorial team who are guaranteed to be on the ground for your spokespeople to meet. It’s therefore your best place to start when you’re looking to book interviews.
3) Cast your media pitch far and wide
Starting with media partners is great, but it’s also worth getting in touch with other journalists to see if they’re attending. Since they’re not associated with the event and are committing to attend (both in paying for their ticket and taking time out of the office), they’ll be looking to maximise their trip.
With only a finite amount of time, though, this means they will be selective about who they meet. So, your pitch will need to outline exactly why they should meet your spokesperson over anyone else. What’s the story? What’s their expertise? What do they have to say that’s different?
As well as pitching in advance, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for any journalists wandering around the event that you can catch for an impromptu meet too. When we were at PTE, we connected our client with International Airport Review, in addition to our planned interviews, thanks to being quick on our feet at the event.
4) Launch news to create a buzz
Launching news at the event will create a buzz around your brand and give people a reason to talk to you. And the fact they’re reading about it in a media outlet shows them that this is something that an authoritative journalist thinks is worth a look!
It also makes for a great talking point for your sales team on the stand. And the coverage can be used as the first touchpoint for any follow-ups. For example, by sharing a link to the article with a new connection on LinkedIn as something they might be interested in.
5) Don’t forget to post about coverage on social!
Posting on your company’s social channels and via your teams’ networks in the run up and during the event is essential. Also, ensure your sales teams on-site are posting the coverage with the event hashtag as it will help people following the event online to keep up with news more easily.
And be sure to continue this momentum post-event too. They will have had conversations with customers and prospects, many of whom they’ll now be connected to on LinkedIn. And these soft touchpoints are great to keep your brand front of mind and spark a follow-up conversation.
If you can, tag the publication and journalist who wrote the article to give them a shout-out in the social post. It’s a nice personal touch, and helps to nurture the relationship between the journalist and the brand.