Trade Show Tips #1: Using PR to Launch New Products

In this ongoing series, we’ll share our best basic tips on how to leverage your trade show booth to garner media and retailer excitement, as well as some PR insider advice that we’ve gleaned along the way.

While the true purpose of trade shows has evolved over the years, it remains that your company booth is an opportunity to reinforce your new product messaging with buyers and to secure quality time with relevant editors, writers and bloggers for your industry. The first and second quarter of the year is a busy time for trade shows in the industries we love, including the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, the International Housewares Show here in Chicago, and the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. Our team has attended dozens of shows over the years, and we’ve seen that they all have more in common than you may realize.

Trade Show Tip #1: The real work starts before the show
Just like buyers, editors’ schedules book up weeks before a big trade show, so it’s key to get in front of them at least 6-8 weeks in advance to secure an appointment or ensure that they make time to visit your booth. Members of the media are at these shows looking for the latest and greatest new products, so they certainly appreciate the heads up! To draw them into your booth when they arrive, try offering some sort of freebie to entice them. Free beverages perhaps? Sweet snacks? Or even items that they can reuse, such as custom wristbands, drink koozies, or even USB sticks. Of course, personalize these items where possible so your name and contact information can be distributed. If you have a team of people working at the trade booth, it will look very professional to have them wearing a uniformed look, even if it is just customized jackets with the brand logo on them. You can go here to take a look at various branding options if you wish.

Leading trade publications to publish special show and daily editions that are a must-read for all show attendees, but their deadlines are months before the show floor opens. Make sure to have your press materials approved and ready to go to secure coverage in these influential issues. It might be worth looking into having your own booklet printing done months in advance too so that you can make sure that you’re not leaving everything to the last minute. Being able to hand out printed material is a great way of allowing the attendees to relook at your services when they get home which can result in later purchases. Other resources that you may want to look at using at the trade show include LED video displays from companies such as, it can bring an edge to your trade show booth.

PR insider advice: Don’t underestimate the power of quality editorial media coverage for your new product: leveraged correctly, it can excite buyers and accelerate sell-in!

What trade shows will you be attending this year?

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