Throughout the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to work directly with clients both off-site and on. In the office I am working daily to maintain accounts through monitoring for media coverage, to writing press releases, to managing social media communities and any other assignments that come my way. Off-site functions are an entirely different experience!
They’re exciting because I get to work face to face with a client, giving them real-time support, while still connecting with my team in the office for live updates of the trade show.
In January, I was fortunate enough to attend CES and experience a trade show for the first time as a public relations professional. After a very long and delayed 36 hours of traveling, I arrived in Las Vegas ready to get to work. I spent four days on the showroom floor, networking, educating, and pitching attendees on my client’s products. Throughout the process, I also managed to keep contact with my team in the office to send through photos to be shared on the client’s social media communities.
We had such a great show at CES that six months later I was asked by the same client to attend CE Week for on-site support. Tradeshows can be long and exhausting, but with a few tips, I can show you how to really be an asset to your client.
5 Steps On How to Rock a Tradeshow
- Know your client. Do some extra digging on the brand to find out something you didn’t already know. It’s always nice to show your client that you’ve really kept up on what they’re doing even if it doesn’t involve your role in the company. Plus, it’s essential to be able to share some background of the company when journalists approach your booth.
- Know your product. If your client is releasing or showcasing a new product at a tradeshow, this is going to be the focal point of the booth. Learn everything you can about this product so when media approaches, you are prepared to answer any questions without looking to your client. Be prepared to demonstrate how it’s used and why it benefits the consumer. When you’re prepared and you know the product, conversation with media seems to flow a lot easier.
- Preshow planning. Speak to your client about your role at the show. Have you both prepared for any presentations, media interviews, and “plan b” strategies? Who else will be at the booth that would be the best expert in case you’re asked a question you can’t answer? How would that transition go within the booth? Practice makes perfect!
- Be friendly. I can’t even tell you how often this simple step is overlooked. Smile and be approachable, even to media you may not feel is relevant. Network and ask for business cards to be able to follow up and thank them for stopping by. These connections may come in handy later on.
- Take photos. Document photos of the booth, the products, client interactions, media interviews, demonstrations, etc. It’s a great way to live-share content on social media and also a fun way to follow up with your client after the show.
How are you planning for your next tradeshow?