Take Advantage of the Press Kit Room


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Nearly every trade show has a designated area in which vendors exhibiting at the show can display copies of their press kits for the reporters to pick up. Larger shows have a separate Press Kit Room; smaller shows set up tables in the Press Room. (The Press Kit Room at larger shows can be as big as a football field, with tables laid out in long rows draped with colorful bunting and topped with thousands of press kits from as many companies.) The press kits are normally arranged in alphabetical order by the first letter of the company name.

You can get a great deal of exposure by placing press kits in the Press Kit Room. You can reach reporters who may not stop by your booth because they don’t know you or your products, or they walked past your booth while deep in conversation and simply missed it. When they read the press kits, they may be inspired to visit your booth to get more information. They may also decide they have enough material to write their story based on the information you’ve provided in the press kit.

You can use several methods to make your kits stand out among the huge stacks on the tables. To seize reporters’ attention immediately, use one or more of these tactics:

• Design a clear plastic box to hold your press kits upright. Have the box designed with a holder for a flier that prominently displays your company name, logo, booth location, or a provocative message.

• Place your press kit in a book bag emblazoned with your company name and logo.

• If the press is not likely to recognize your name, don’t place the press release in a folder. Instead, place your press release on the table naked. This way, the reporter can read your headline and make a decision whether or not to take your materials. This is better than having reporters make their decision based on whether they’ve heard of your company or product.

• If you are exhibiting in another vendor’s booth space, place a colorful sticker on your press kit cover that says, “Visit us in the Widget World Booth – #1234, Main Hall” so the press can find you (and so your press kits won’t be thrown away). Print your booth number on each press release, as well. At a recent PC Expo, Newsbytes reporter Dana Blankenhorn wanted to do follow up work on a product he saw at a successful press conference. He took the press kit from his bag and looked at the release. There was no reference to the booth the company was in, and the company lost an important opportunity for press coverage.

It’s easy to place your press kits in the Press Kit Room. Simply go there (early!) on the first day of the show. There may be an attendant monitoring the entrance to keep attendees and vendors out and allow only members of the press in (this ensures that only reporters – not competitors – pick up your kits). The attendant can take your press kits and place them on the proper table. (Some show sponsors allow the exhibitor to perform this task themselves.) Bring a healthy supply of kits to store under the table. Check the supply on the table at least once a day, and replenish the stock as necessary.

If the show has more than one location for Press Kit Rooms, you must bring press kits to each room. Remember to check each location during the day.