Throughout my public relations career, I’ve had the opportunity to attend numerous trade shows and conferences with my clients. Most recently, I was in Las Vegas for the Digital Signage Expo (DSE) – my first time at this show.
After returning home, I got to thinking…. every PR pro is looking for the best way to make a trade show experience count for our clients. At lotus823, we have covered How to Rock a Trade Show and Trade Show Swag in past blog posts. But, what about the behind the scenes info? The things we as PR reps need to know for ourselves?
Well, it’s your lucky day! I’m here to share some tips to help you survive your trade show experience.
- Always be prepared – Have a safety kit ready to go for any emergency. As I’ve learned during the past two trade shows I’ve attended, make sure to always have Band-Aid’s, headache medicine, a snack, and water. You never know what may come up or when you’ll have a chance to leave the booth so having something to eat and drink is a must. Plus, you or someone around you is bound to get a cut or have a headache.
- Wear comfortable shoes – I cannot state this enough! I spent many days looking for the perfect shoes for trade shows. I thought I had found them – professional, neutral, and comfortable. However, they also caused many a blister on my feet. This is where the Band-Aids saved me. You will definitely be standing for multiple hours and you cannot predict what type of flooring will be at the booth. Prepare in advance and wear comfortable shoes.
- Have a back-up battery – Your phone will die and when it does, you will need extra battery power. As a PR guru, you will be handling multiple tasks at one time – responding to emails, ensuring reporters show up at the booth on time, sending out the press release, etc. Thus, I’d highly recommend investing in an external battery or a battery case. My favorites come from Anker and Mophie.
- Pockets are your friend – I make sure to always wear dress pants with pockets. Why? Because you will be carrying many items at once – your phone, a pen, business cards, and potentially a recording device. And, you will be collecting business cards. Pants with pockets have worked best for me, but you can also carry a small bag to hold your items.
- Have fun – While you will undoubtedly have hundreds of things on your mind, it’s important to have fun, too. This is a great opportunity to nurture your relationship with your client and get face time with reporters. More likely than not, you will be going to dinners or attending events in the evening. That is a time for you to enjoy yourself and this experience. Attending trade shows can be tiresome, but they are also wonderful learning and networking opportunities. Keep that in mind throughout everything you do.
Do you have any tips to share? Comment below or send me a message!