The expo floor plan is complete, guest speakers are set, and exhibitors are booked – your expo is officially underway. Now, it’s time to start building some media interest for your event. Gaining media coverage for your expo will help you build brand awareness, impress your exhibitors, and increase future ticket sales.
From local newspapers to online media publications, there are a number of media professionals you can invite to gain coverage on your exciting event. The news of your expo may be enough to attract the media. This might be due to your choice of guest speakers, a large rate of attendance, or the purpose of your event. But, how do you present your expo and your story to the media in a way that is compelling and newsworthy?
We’ve put together some tips for doing just that.
1. Create a media kit
Start developing a media kit for your company and event. This will be used to provide information and insights to media outlets about your values, mission and purpose. It will also help journalists get to know your expo better and feel more inclined to attend. Your media kit should include the company intro, company fact sheet, company timelines, major services, bio of the Founder or CEO, and high resolution images and logos.
2. Research what the media wants
Before you start contacting the media, you need to confirm what type of news the media will be interested in. This will help you build your media list. Research different publications to see what type of stories they usually cover and decide whether your event will align with their content. Once you have identified with media outlets will resonate with your expo, provide them with marketing material to give them an overview of your purpose and mission. Make sure you include local media outlets in your media list. The large attendance rate of your expo will increase business in the surrounding area – that’s definitely a newsworthy element.
Consider the stories that your expo can tell and whether the media will be interested in this. Stories can be found in the guest speakers or experts involved in your event, or in your exhibitors or attendees.
3. Invite plenty, then invite more
Keep in mind that not every person you invite will be able to attend. The media will need time to schedule for the expo and you may lose interest if other stories arise that are more appealing. To avoid this, be sure to invite multiple media professionals and send your invites early so to allow them time.
4. Offer something unique
If you have a great guest speaker or exciting entertainment, then use this to attract media by offering them a unique experience with your expo. Consider offering an exclusive interview with your guest speaker, a behind the scenes look at your expo or a Q&A with the CEO of your company.
You can also offer free meals or drinks as a persuasion method. Alternatively, consider hosting a media only breakfast or happy hour for your media to attend. This will spark their interest and encourage them to visit your expo.
5. Use social media
In the weeks leading up to contacting media professionals, use social media to interact with journalists and media outlets. Share exciting elements of your expo planning and company news to build interest. You can also use social media to keep track of journalist’s professional interests and what they are currently writing about. This will help you adjust your pitch to appeal to them.
6. Don’t spam
Remember that there is a difference between follow up calls or emails and spamming. Contacting media over and over may risk turning them away from your expo and possibly your company. Stick to follow ups when needed and thank you emails.
7. Train your staff
If you know that the media will be attending your event then you want to make sure that your staff attending the expo are prepared and trained to talk about the event in a positive and informative way. Train your staff to understand your company’s mission and the purpose of the expo. This will allow you to construct your media coverage by only providing the information that you want shared.
8. Make their job easy
Journalists are very busy people, so make your event an easy and stress-free option by doing the hard work for them. Prepare and send out press releases 3-4 weeks before the expo as this will help them start their story early. You can also provide information on directions, how to get a free pass, and the itinerary of your expo to make the process easier. Journalists will hate it if you are changing dates or times so make sure you stick to your schedule.
If your budget allows it you can hire a PR professional to gather this media coverage. However, this can become quite expensive. With these simple steps, you will be able to confidently and strategically invite media outlets and journalists to your event and increase your brand awareness through quality media coverage. If you need more tips for pitching to or inviting media, you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and our marketing team will be happy to assist you.