When it comes to planning for trade shows like Outdoor Retailer Winter Market (ORWM), a great deal of time and money is spent on things like booth design and layout, product displays, sales meetings, marketing materials, travel, entertainment and more. But what about the media? Do you have a strategy to leverage media relations opportunities before, during and after the show?

For many, trade shows are a great opportunity to build relationships with members of the media who cover their industry and are looking for stories. If you want to generate editorial coverage about your products or services, here are 9 things you can do at ORWM, or any other trade show for that matter:

  1. Media List – Secure a list of registered media who are planning to attend the show. Talk to show organizers to get the list.
  2. Trade Show Daily – Most trade shows distribute a daily magazine. Reach out to the editors well in advance of the show to pitch CEO profiles, events, new products, etc.
  3. Media Invite – Develop an invite that gives the media a reason to visit with you at the show. What are you doing that’s unique, compelling and different from everyone else?
  4. Media Appointments – Schedule media appointments in your booth to demo products and introduce key players in your organization. Don’t waste time showing off your entire booth – focus on what’s important to the person you’re meeting with. Be sure to showcase items that are new and unique.
  5. Media Kit – Develop an electronic media kit that includes news releases, photos, videos and other multi-media materials. Save all content on branded USB drives and distribute in your booth and through the show’s media room.
  6. Media Conference – Consider hosting a media conference. However, only do so if you have something BIG to announce. There’s nothing worse than an empty room, so make sure your news is worthy of such a big event.
  7. Events – Consider hosting an event in your booth that attracts media attention. We’ve seen everything from celebrity book signings and presentations, new product launches, charitable events, giveaways, mascot appearances, cocktail parties, fashions shows, birthday bashes and more. If you’re planning an event, have a purpose and make it visual.
  8. Social Media – Many of the media contacts you’re trying to reach are actively engaged in social media. Be sure to follow key contacts and engage them via Twitter and other social channels during the show. Be sure to use the official hashtag of the show (#ORShow).
  9. Follow Up – Be sure to nurture your newfound relationships with the media throughout the year. Send news releases and other company news when appropriate. More importantly, share industry research and insights that position you and your company as thought leaders.