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Rules of Engagement for Trade Shows

Since January, we’ve been supporting our clients at a variety of tradeshows such as CES, VoiceCon, HIMSS, VON, and next week CeBIT and CTIA.

My thanks to our staff at The Ranch who’ve worked so hard to support our clients and doing all the advance work nessecessary to ensure success at these critical events.

Here are some helpful hints and suggestions for doing tradeshow work:

1.  Get the editor and analyst list at least 3 weeks in advance of the show from the show promoter so you can start booking appointments.

2.  Make sure you have your press releases ready 2 weeks before the show so you can get it to your industry media in advance of the show.  Even if you are a publicly held company, you can send your news in advance under embargo.

3.  If your tradeshow has a show daily, make sure you contact the editorial team in advance so you can be in day 1 or day 2 of the show.

4.  If you are announcing something new, tell a story that goes above and beyond the product.  How does technology advance the industry?  How does your product display innovation?  How do the partnerships you are establishing demonstrate your though leadership.

5.  Make sure your messaging is up to date…and consistent with your collateral material, your booth, and what the people in your booth will be saying to their publics.

6.  Tell your employess, your investors, your suppliers, and your partners what you arr are announcing.  A new product and technology announcement is a great way to boost morale and make your other publics happy about their association with you.

7.  When you book appointments with analysts and journalists and the show, make sure you get their cell phone numbers.  You would be amazed, especially at the huge shows like CeBit or CES, that they can’t find your booth.

8.  If your appointments run late, be forgiving.  Try them on their cell phone 30 minutes after the scheduled appointment.  Chances are, they’re just running late.

9.  After show, follow up.  See what they need.  Above and beyond the product announcement, pitch trend stories.  And be sure to check their editorial calendars. Maybe there is something or somewhere you might fit.

10.  Relax and take the following weekend off.  You’ve worked hard.  You deserve it.

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