Clients often ask us if they should announce their new product or service at an upcoming trade show. The thinking behind that is that a trade show is a great way to generate coverage. However, it’s actually better to announce news BEFORE the trade show. Why is that?
The week of a trade show is a busy time. Editors are covering a number of stories from the trade show floor itself, such as the keynote speakers at the show, products being shown in booths, and the general tone of the show. So, unless you are with a very large company that can control the news agenda of all the publications at the trade show such as Apple or Microsoft, it’s often best to make your announcements before the show. That way, you aren’t competing for coverage with the news coming out of the show.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do interviews at the trade show itself. Editors and analysts still want to meet your company CEO in person. The trade show can be a perfect place to do a “meet and greet” meeting that might just last 15 minutes.
If you put yourself in an editor’s shoes, you can see what the value is of a trade show. When editors go to trade shows, they want to see what the new product trends are, get a pulse on how the industry is doing, and get background data and quotes on particular subjects. Editors can meet with 10-15 companies in one day alone. They walk the show floor to see the product demos. They are thinking of future issues and trying to find products that might fit in those issues. It’s a big sourcing session wrapped up in 2-3 days and an invaluable opportunity for editors.
So, if you are trying to get an editor’s attention for the biggest new product launch your company will have all year, you are competing with lots of “noise.”
Your formula for success at a trade show? Announce your product before the show and reap the rewards.