The role of PR at trade shows and special events
It’s typically an industry standard for brands to bring at least one member of their public relations team with them to trade shows – and for good reason. There are great opportunities for PR pros to build relationships (just like sales staff and other brand representatives) at special events.
But the key to making PR a worthwhile component at your next trade show is to set goals and expectations. Make sure you can make a strong case for bringing your relationship manager with you to the event.
Here are three of the top conditions that justify a PR rep’s attendance:
- Media opportunities. Does the trade show typically host editors from industry media outlets? If so, the event will be a great time for PR reps to meet face-to-face with these contacts to establish and strengthen relationships. Be sure to set up appointments before heading to the show, and introduce key players within the brand as potential resources for upcoming editorial opportunities.
- Social media. Should someone make sure the brand’s social media accounts are actively contributing to online conversations about the event? It’s usually the PR person’s job to take pictures, capture video and manage a company’s social media presence while at a trade show. You can also repurpose this content for future online activity.
- Relationship with the brand. Many PR pros don’t have the chance to see their clients in person very often. Trade shows and special events are a great time to reconnect and meet new faces within the brand.
Beyond these tasks, PR pros should also challenge themselves to speak with booth visitors and support the brand’s representatives wherever possible. With set goals and expectations, PR is an excellent relationship-building tool for a brand team at special events.