Good public relations management practices: Get the Most Out of Every Show


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While you are at a trade show, you can perform many activities to build your business. Used properly, a trade show not only increases your press coverage, it also creates the opportunity to foster relationships with key players in the industry: analysts, distributors, opinion leaders, and peers who’ve been at it longer than you have and are willing to share what they’ve learned along the way.

One public relations goal is to keep your name in front of people. By attending trade shows and going to the right parties at trade shows, people see you are in circulation, and that can promote your credibility. If you’re not at a trade show, you’re conspicuous by your absence. People wonder, “Gee, what happened to Joe? He must not be around any more.” Needless to say, this is not good for your business.

Another reason to attend trade shows is to see what your competitors are doing. You can walk into the booth, get a demo, ask tough questions and get meaningful (and useful) answers. All this information is public, so don’t feel you are doing anything underhanded. They won’t tell you anything they aren’t telling their key accounts and dealers, and you may benefit from knowing their latest plans. Pay attention to the features and benefits your competition focuses on. You can see how they’re positioning themselves so you can decide how to compete with them.

Trade shows are also excellent places to gather ideas and sample marketing materials that you can adapt from competitors and non-competitors alike. You’ll benefit if you copy approaches you like and avoid the things that don’t work. Keep good notes from each show and you’ll have a file to refer to when you’re ready to exhibit, or to revise your exhibit for the next convention.

Go to every show with the intention of picking up great ideas that you can modify and apply to your own marketing efforts.