Each year, brands in the building and design industry spend significant dollars exhibiting at trade shows.  Unfortunately, many are not leveraging this investment to gain maximum ROI.

A smart way to maximize a trade show investment is to add a public relations component.  Since exhibitors are typically introducing new products or services at these shows, adding a P.R. element is a natural way to extend the other marketing efforts already planned for the show.

If applicable, hosting a press event is another way to maximize trade show investment ROI

Here are four ideas to consider.

  1. Create a Press Kit — Develop a press release for each new product or news items you’ll be talking about at the show. These releases, along with other newsworthy documents (a company fact sheet, a white paper, etc.) should be combined into a press kit. Whether the press kit is a USB drive or e-based, it should be easily accessible for the media and others wanting to know more about your brand.


  1. Schedule Editor Meetings — Major industry trade shows — AHR, NeoCon, AIA, etc. — will have lots of editors attending. Inviting editors (not ad reps) to visit your booth gives your executives and product experts a chance to articulate your brand in a face-to-face setting.  (Note: No press release, no matter how well written, can truly convey the passion and expertise of your people!)  Moreover, editors are always looking for expert resources and story ideas. Media interviews are an exceptional way to help editors, while also furthering your brand goals.

“Media interviews are an exceptional way to help editors, while also furthering your brand goals.”

  1. Follow Up — It’s important to follow up with each editor after the show. A personal note thanking each editor can strengthen the relationship with that editor while also ensuring your news is included in post-show articles. It also lays the foundation for more media opportunities in the future.


  1. Leverage Other Opportunities — Beyond a press kit and media interviews, there are many other ways to maximize your presence.
    • Website Posting — Post your press releases and photos to the trade show’s website to garner more exposure.
    • Award Submissions — Enter awards to gain third-party credibility for your products or people.
    • Speaking Opportunities — Submit a speaking topic so your company’s experts and executives achieve a higher profile.
    • Spokesperson Training — Make sure the people being interviewed are trained in how to effectively interact with the media.
    • Talking Points — Create Talking Points to ensure a consistent brand message is conveyed to the media, customers and others you meet with at the show.
    • Social Media — Use content from the press kit to share news and photos strategically in advance, during and after the show.

By partnering with a firm that has experience in trade show media management, brands will not only be able to stand out from the crowd, but also significantly maximize their trade show investment to drive greater ROI.

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