Event PR - The Role of Public Relations in Trade Shows and Business Events

Last week I was asked to give a presentation to the PRSA, a public relations organization interested in staying current on the national and international best practices of industry experts. During the presentation, I was asked what role PR plays in the success of a trade show or an event, and what the best technique is to increase media attention around that event. Although this is truly the million dollar question, my answer was (and is) relatively straightforward: public relations plays a vital role in making the event a success, and when done properly, creates a ripple effect through both traditional and digital media.

Post-event, the words, articles, interviews, blogs, and updates written about what was seen, demonstrated, and launched create a life of their own – an “after party”, if you will. The rule of thumb is to provide excitement to the press. Have something new that will impact the industry in a way never before imagined, a service or product that will serve to open up new markets and sign new orders. Announce ways your company is going to save resources and become more sustainable. This excitement is critical to a successful event.

As I told the audience during my presentation, I cannot imagine a day where an event that has any importance at all does not have the media waiting for a press release on the coolest gizmo at the show. At your next trade show, challenge yourself or your team to create this significance around your appearance – this element is key to building PR buzz and media attention around any event.