Five Tips To Bring A B2B Trade Show to Consumers

B2B doesn’t always have to be just B2B. Sometimes there are things happening at a B2B trade show that consumers would like to know. The trick is getting that info from the trade show floor to the reader. The key is getting strategic about your media outreach.

In today’s guest post, Adrienne Appell, senior PR manager at the Toy Industry Association (TIA), offers up five tips for doing just that. The TIA is the organization behind the Toy Fair, which has been around for more than 100 years.

Click through to read on.

Generating Consumer Publicity for a B2B Trade Show by Adrienne Appell, senior manager of PR, Toy Industry Association

Trade shows bring a large number of people with a common interest together.  They connect buyers with sellers, showcase new products, and offer incredible opportunities for networking, education, and more.

The Toy Industry Association’s American International Toy Fair (Toy Fair), held in New York City every February for more than a century, is the largest toy and youth product event in the Western hemisphere.  Show-related PR targets multiple audiences in an effort to grow both domestic and international attendance while also generating consumer excitement about the new toys and games being introduced by exhibitors.

Based on our experience with Toy Fair, TIA suggests five tips for generating consumer publicity for a B2B trade show.  Whether you’re a communications pro or it’s your first exposure to trade event promotion, we hope you’ll find these techniques helpful:

  1. Build a comprehensive media plan. Include national and regional trade, consumer and business media at online, print, and broadcast outlets.  Pitch a wide range of options based on reporter interest, from a pre-show phone interview, to a press release with background about the show, to an in-person interview on the show floor.  Begin contacting media well in advance of opening day, especially when scheduling national broadcast segments.
  2. Be relevant, especially in pre-show outreach. Tell media why your show is a “must attend” event that has great value for their audiences.  Remind them that they will be the exclusive eyes and ears of their readers or viewers and explain what they’ll walk off the show floor having seen and heard.
  3. Leverage various social media channels to amplify your message. Social media is a great public platform for generating excitement and creating the pre-show buzz that will grow media attendance and publicity. Get people engaged and involved! For Toy Fair we used the geolocation function of Foursquare and a reward system developed by Punchtab to create an online and social experience game called “Play Happens” that turned New York City into a virtual board game during Toy Fair week.
  4. Create a virtual press room. Make information readily available and easily accessible.  Toy Fair’s virtual press room has become the pre-, during-, and post-show destination for journalists looking for the show profile, spokesperson bios, media alerts and press releases, exhibitor press kits, multimedia, and other updates. Make sure the on-site press room is just as valuable. Toy Fair’s show amenities include an interview lounge, a step-and-repeat for broadcast interviews, work stations with Internet access, recharging stations, a new product showcase, and an oversized map of the show floor.
  5. Stay visible throughout the rest of the year. Trade shows typically last just a few days, but it’s important for your organization to remain relevant throughout the rest of the year.  Keep in touch with media post-show and capitalize on relationships you’ve made.