A wasted opportunity more often than not
According to AUMA, the Association of the German Trade Fair industry, Germany attracts approximately two thirds of trade fairs in the world, which makes it the world’s first international venue. Every year, between 160 and 180 international and national trade shows in Germany are attended by up to 180, 000 exhibitors and 10 million visitors. I have decades of experience in trade shows and over time, I have noticed that only a fraction of exhibitors use the press service as a way to gain exposure. This is one of the reasons why so many times, trade show communication opportunities are wasted.
Trade fairs are a big part of B2B marketing: they are an opportunity for suppliers to introduce their newest offerings and get in touch with both existing and new customers. This marketing-oriented approach is both smart and efficient. Unfortunately, however, so many exhibitors forget about an equally crucial marketing strategy: classic press work.
Press compartments: journalist holy grail
Fairs bring together exhibitors and journalists from the leading trade media, which is why it is surprising to see that only a minority of exhibitors seize the opportunity to contact those journalists. This phenomenon is particularly obvious in trade fair press centres: only an approximate 10% of exhibitors use the press compartments, where they could be distributing press kits. Which means that at a fair of 1,500 exhibitors, only 150 will be taking that step.
This is all the more peculiar given that journalists very often turn to the show’s press centre to get an overview of the press material on offer. Only afterwards do they go visit the stands they are interested in. Another example of wasted opportunities!
Trade fair PR: individual press meetings at the stand
Aside from taking more advantage of press compartments, exhibitors should also invite journalists over to their stands, organizing one-on-one talks informing about the company’s latest developments, strategies and products.
The press kit, containing text and image material in both printed and digital form, comes as an addition to the press meetings and makes journalists’ work easier. All of this will set favorable conditions for exhibitors to engage with potential customers. Targeted communication with the media can then play a major role in your success at trade fairs.